In many regards I would describe myself as a very simple man. I’m quite happy with a quiet existence. I’m an introvert, not an extrovert. A supporting player, not the star.
I would even say that in many regards I don’t aspire to more either. At least not in the metric that western society employs to define the words “aspire” and “aspirational”. I’m not a workaholic. Instead I aspire, if you will, to a more ideal work-life balance.
But with running I become different. When it comes to my running I can be rightfully viewed as driven. I’m not happy with running a few kilometres a couple of times a week. It’s not that I think there is anything wrong with that; it’s just not for me.
I expect more of myself. I demand more of myself.
Further, along with these expectations and self-imposed demands, I feel pressure. I push myself to go faster. I find it difficult to run a long slow run slowly for example — which has, ironically, cost me in marathons. And I continually push myself to run greater and greater distances, reasoning that if I can run far on tired legs that I can run further and faster on rested legs come race day.
I’m close to Boston. I know it. In hockey parlance, I’m on the verge of tying up the game in the 3rd, I have a man advantage, and the puck is deep in the opposing team’s end. It’s time for me to pull my goalie. It’s time for me to give it all I’ve got.
In terms of my own sport this means losing weight. Running hard. And knowing that no matter what, I tried my best — pass or fail, win or lose.
For try as we might, it is one of the true essences of our very humanity that certain eventualities are in fact ultimately out of our control.
But I maintain that our humanity should not be viewed as an impediment. That we should not just cower to the gods. That instead we should take fate into our own hands, as much as we can, before letting the chips fall where they may. And that we must do so at every chance we get.
We owe it to ourselves to give our dreams our best efforts. Striving as opposed to retreating. To put our hopes on the line and not shy away from them. To do or to die trying.
So here’s to 2016! To our goals and to our resolutions. Yours as well as mine. Together let’s see what we can do to realize them.
Happy New Year.