I'm getting old ... fast. I have one grandchild and another on the way. I eat pretty much the same thing every day, at the same time, and hit the sack around 8:30 every night. Heck, in 5 years I'll be eligible for AARP. Freaking AARP!!! Plus, I'm grumpy. I somewhat despise that little drug-snorting, middle-finger wielding, no-talent KE-dollarsign-HA. Her "f-society because I'm young" song lyrics piss me off. I wish North Korea would keep Dennis Rodman. I realize there are inherent problems with Capitalism, but refuse to believe that the current road of Socialism this country is headed down is healthy. And overall, I'm way more old-fashioned than forward thinking. But for some reason, regardless of how quickly I age, how much my bones ache in the morning, or how narrow-minded and wrong I can be about certain things, I'm still very ... very ... very ... competitive!
I've always been up for a good challenge. Undoubtedly I've never been the best at many things, but I've always worked my fingers to the bone trying to squeeze the most out of myself. And for some reason, THAT part of me is not dying easily. It's a little confusing at times. I thought as we got older we weren't supposed to care as much. Ya know, learn how to relax, just let it roll of your back ... that kind of boring crap. But one thing I am definitely not good at is relaxation. Heck, Michael is going on a beach vacation next month, and I actually talked her into taking a girlfriend along instead of me ... because I HATE RELAXING ON THE BEACH!!! Yeah, for some reason, the raging competition gene in me is stronger than ever.
Yes, yes, I know ... competition is bad. It gives losers frowny faces, and winners undeserved rewards because they cheated or had an unfair advantage. Blah, blah, blah. We get it MSNBC, we're all supposed to melt into one dull gray cookie cutter lifeless shape of equal wealth, and drive the same Prius to our $18.50/hr job at McDonald's. (Newsflash ... when minimum wage goes up 300%, so does everyone else's salary ... oh, and the cost of everything else does too. All THAT does is move the bar, not create income equality. "Make that money, watch it burn" ... but I digress) However when I say competition, I'm not talking about competition against one another ... I only referring to my competition with me. And only me.
I fell in love with running for many reasons. Sure, there are the obvious health benefits. I've never felt better. But it's much more than that. Running is my masterpiece that's never quite complete. An endless, and at times reckless pursuit of an unattainable goal. And the perfect metaphor for everything else in my life. It continually gives me something to chase. Figuratively. Although it dances around and it's difficult to hit ... it establishes a target. A measuring stick. For example, I can review running data from last year and be prodded into picking up the pace of my current footsteps. It's the motivation to pull my head off the pillow way before the sun, knowing that very few are doing the same. And it makes me believe ... at 45 years old ... that my best running days are still ahead of me. It's a relentless trail of doing it more efficiency, one more mile, convincing myself to sprint to the end, and always, always faster than last time. Just a little faster.
As I break ground on 2014 (although it's been a rather inauspicious beginning so far) I really believe I'll compete for a sub 3 hour marathon this year. I also wanna take a run at my 5K time. AND ... trying to smash my half-marathon best. I know I've learned a lot about training over the past few years, and am eager to put all of those lessons into practice for the best running version of me ever. And even though the calendar pages seem to turn faster and faster every 365 days ... and I'm reaching the part of life where everyone is saying, "Slow down old man, smell the roses, and take it easy!" ... I'm full speed ahead! I won't ever ride off into the sunset and rest on my laurels. This old dude will compete. I'll give 100%. And I'll hopefully always get the most out of my ability regardless of my age ... unless I break a hip or something. Now get off my lawn!
... be great today!