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Posts Tagged ‘who am i?’

The Journey

[tweetmeme source=”luau” only_single=false http://www.URL.com]

Time flies quickly.

As we get older, unlike our legs, Time seems to pick up the pace.  On the inside I am much like the 18-year old boy I was some 23 years ago.  Where have those 23 years gone?  What have I done with those 23 years?  and why did I waste so much time?

At nearly 42, I can’t help but wonder, what have I done?  where is my mark?  will anybody remember Luau?

This, I think is typical for a man my age.  As we realize we have passed the midway point of our marathon of life, wondering if we have run the way we should have; knowing that even as we head for that ultimate finish line, there will be a Heartbreak Hill  or two we have to overcome along the way.

Growing up I always thought that I would be famous.  I had no idea what for.  I just knew it was coming…at some point.  The problem was just that though, I knew – and as any Sci-Fi fan will tell you, knowing what will happen in the future inevitably changes it.  That knowledge made me lazy, complacent.  Sure I studied my ass off in high school, but the truth is, after that, I simply waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Where did I fall off the path?  It was near the end of my senior year in high school.  I had been accepted into an Ivy League school, I was a lock as the Valedictorian of my high school, I was a member of every social group, from the nerds, to the jocks, from the burn outs to the BP’s – they all claimed me as their own; life was good.

I took my foot off of the accelerator and flipped on the proverbial cruise switch.

Looking back, I wonder if I ever turned the switch off.  To be sure, there were times when I took control of my world.  Most recently was just over a year ago when I decided that I had to qualify for Boston.  I spent the summer focused, running mile after mile with a singular purpose.

3 months later, I achieved my goal.  Needing a 3:20:59 to qualify for Boston 2011, I ran a 3:19:19.

Boston Qualifier – I felt like I had achieved something…something not a whole lot of people can claim.

But there was a problem.  I had thought that qualifying for Boston would somehow mystically change me, alter me, better me…but I was still just plain, old me.  I was still Luau, just 3 months older, a few pounds lighter.  On the inside I was still Luau the 18-year old kid, waiting for fame to shine its light upon me.

I know now that it’s not coming…at least, not until I grab it by the horns and wrestle it down.

***

These last few months have been difficult for me as a runner.  My motivation has come and gone like the breeze pushing fallen leaves on a cool autumn day.  With only days until the Vermont 50, I will admit that I have done almost no training – zippo, zilch, nada!  I jokingly said to someone recently that I had been tapering since Boston – I was only half-joking.  This journey is going to be a test of mental toughness, of determination, of focus.  I am both scared and not scared simultaneously.  There is a part of me the simply knows I have it within me to cover 50 miles in 12 hours. Simple math tells me that as long as I keep moving, I will be fine.  And for the first time in my short racing life, I don’t care about where or how fast I finish (other than not to get physically removed off of the course by the sweepers).

But part of me is terrified.  What if I am mentally weak? 

Am I?

What if my mind gives up before my body does? 

Will it?

What if I discover that I peaked at the age of 18? 

Did I?

***

This “race” on Sunday will be interesting to say the least.  My hope is that I can prove to myself once again, that I am strong, I am determined, but mostly, that I can be disciplined.  Maybe I can rediscover who I was.  Then, it will be a matter of bringing those traits back into my every day life and then hopefully, full circle back to my running.

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