There’s something surreal about getting older. There are times I don’t recognize the person that I am. I guess, looking deep inside I see this 14 year old skinny kid who is shy and just likes to be alone. I can still see him sort of floating on the outside of all the social groups.. Close enough that everyone knows who he is and is friendly but enough distance so that I can stil be alone. He’s there and I think about him often, I think about all that this kid could have been. The problem is that 14 year never understood how fast time goes by. In fact..the kid that grew up into his early twenties was too self absorbed with all the things around him that he forgot to look back and remind himself about that fourteen year old kid that was still inside. That same person got older into his thirties and became a mess because he kept worrying about everyone and everything else around him instead of the person that was inside. This person stumbled out of his early thirties and started to look back and remember. I’m not like that kid anymore. I’m somewhat awkward and a little shy in some situations but nothing like what I used to. I’m still skinny..so that is the same I guess. I don’t always like to be alone.
I don’t know how I got here…my teen years and twenties are a blur. I think back to them and they are so long ago , yet somehow still feel like they just happened. I am starting to understand what a mid-life crisis is all about except instead of panic, I’m just confused. I just want to slow everything down. The more I try to pack in , the more I try to experience , the faster time goes by.
I think that is why I have started to enjoy running so much. While time is a function of measurement in running, there is something else about time while out in the woods, that changes the speed at which it goes by. It just feels fuller, a more genuine experience. I also feel the environment is more geared towards who I am. I can be alone, with my thoughts, just gliding along. I can be with friends ,we can talk and laugh but we can also run in silence and be in our own space and it’s ok. To me it’s the perfect balance.
I know, this isn’t really a race recap is it.
I’ve been VERY fortunate the past few years. I have met a lot of people that have helped me grow more than I thought possible. My wife has been amazingly supportive of me as I have finally opened my eyes to the things around me and started listening to myself.
So what the hell does this have to do with Pineland? I’m not sure yet.
I think It’s about seeing myself in others and realizing that the people who you choose to surround yourself with tend to be those people that represent parts of who you are or who you want to be. I think about it and it’s like one of those portraits that are made up of hundreds of images to form a single image. Inspiration comes in lot’s of different flavors , but I think one of the most powerful is the inspiration of those who are around you.
I’ve learned a lot this past year. I learned that there is a certain freedom when doing something difficult and succeeding. I learned there is a certain level of pride one can feel by watching others succeed. I learned there is a certain level of humility when you realize you are wrong or you misjudge someone. I learned that I can be strong. I learned that I can push myself to a limit to see just how strong that is. Most importantly, I learned that I have friends and family that will be there to help. I learned that I can be there for them too.
Pineland was a big first step. I have run longer but it represents a lot more. It represented a big leap for my friends who had never run that far. It represented the start of my journey towards a fifty mile race this year. It also represented me stepping confidently into my fourties and not looking at time as unit of measurement but as something that guides me forward to my next adventure and makes me feel fuller as a person.
Heather has a nice race recap- I will write more about it later but right now this is pretty much what I am thinking about.