Thursday, January 29, 2015

"Not Ready To Make Nice"

"I'm not ready to make nice, I'm not ready to back down,
I'm still mad as hell and I don't have time to go 'round and 'round and 'round"

There was a time when the words from this Dixie Chicks chorus were the soundtrack to a lot of hard times, personal failure, and mistakes in my life.   A much more relaxed and "at peace" version of me these days can now confess to you that I bottled up anger, fear, and heartache and used it as fuel for personal challenges.  I was fighting everyone and everything in my life.  But I've let all of that go.  I just got tired of being angry and discontent.  Plus, when your children are okay, your grand kids are healthy and wonderful, and you get to spend your life with your best friend and the woman you find to be the most beautiful and amazing person you've ever met ... how can I be anything but overjoyed.

Me, Jack, and the love of my life a couple of years ago on a snowy trail ... just enjoying life
But at 46 years of age ... an age where a lot of us start looking for shorter, slower races, and stop worrying about the moving pace ... I can tell you that the "running me" wants absolutely no part of it!  I'm in NO WAY ready to sit on a porch swing and quietly take a gently swaying inventory of the seemingly endless blessings in my life.  I'm not slowing down.  I'm not resting on laurels or satisfied by any measure.  I'm not giving up.  I'm not letting the fire die.  I am not old.  I AM NOT OLD.

The fact is, I'm training harder and faster than ever and I'm in nearly the best shape of my life.  I refuse to let a birth certificate date define me.  I refuse to "act my age".  I still have so many running goals to accomplish and I plan on taking them captive one by one.

It kind of makes me sad sometimes to see people my age who say "yeah, I used to be a runner", or "I really used to work out a lot", but now they're thick around the middle, tired of life, and a shell of who they used to be.  What happened?  Did someone tell them they were too old for what they were doing?  Did it just get too hard to maintain and begin to hurt?  Where did the passion go?

I'd be less than honest if I didn't admit that every year it seems to take more and more energy to go as fast as I want to go, or as far as I need to go.  I seem to ache a little more.  And the toasty warm covers seem to wrap my body tighter than ever when the alarm sounds on cold winter mornings.  But I've never pursued mediocre or average, and don't plan on starting now.

A few years ago, Michael of It's All About Pace turned me on to the writings poet Dylan Thomas.  His most famous work, and my favorite passage goes ...

"Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

I hope these words define my running.  I have no plans on anything less than a full out attack on my record book.  Am I the proud grandfather of three ... absolutely!  And have I grown up and settled down a lot over the years ... sure! But as far as pushing myself to the limit and getting every drop of talent and ability out of my legs ... consider me pissed, because I'm training as violently and passionately as ever.  I'm not ready make nice and not ready to back down.  But seriously ... life is good!
... Be Great Today!


  1. Man, 46 isn't old! You probably have ten more years of PRs. And if you think 46 is old, then my husband is almost-old, which by association makes ME almost-old, so I'd appreciate it if you'd shelve that silly idea.

    1. Ha, fair enough - I still have all my original parts, so it's all good.

  2. Well if 46 is old, I'm ancient... and I say PHTTTTT to that!

  3. Of course you're not old. Cause if you're old then I'm really old and I know I'm not that.

  4. Hey! I know that guy.. :-)

    and you sir, are an inspiration

    Rage on my friend... rage on

  5. Thanks Jim for a great article. I am sort of in the same boat as you. Unfortunately, I've sort of accepted that I am slower now and am doing more participatory races (where I know I am not going to place in my age group, but finishing is the goal). Granted, I am probably never going to place in any major race (unless I am still running in my 70+'s) I still want to be the best I possibly be.

    Your blog is really helpful in the sense that you are making huge gains and you've inspired me countless time to dig a little deeper, train a little harder.

    Hopefully my best times aren't behind me and I really hope that I'll stop qualifying my recent 5K times with: "I ran XX:XX today, but a few years ago I ran 20:10".

    Thanks again for posting your logs and enabling me to dream big and get back into kick-butt shape.



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