I turned 24 sometime like a week ago… or something like that. I am now a day old, in years.
The 24th birthday is hardly ever celebrated as a milestone… but I made one out if it.
Essentially, like a fruit fly, I think most humans get about three days of life. I have completed youth (Day One). And I woke up to adult life, which will last till age 48. And if I am lucky, I might get another day and live to about 72. Some clingers hang around for a fourth day (dinosaurs)… but that probably won’t be me.
Anyway, at the turning of this new day, I pondered the events of the day before, and what I could do to make the most of the day that is now.
The first minutes of this new day were spent on the far left coast, as far west as I could possibly be from my place of birth without crossing international borders, waking up in a soggy tent, jogging/slogging through a 10k, and spotting my first ever pod of wild dolphins jumping around in the ocean by camp. A dream-like experience intermixed with harsh tones of waking reality.
In the final dimming hours of dusk the day before, I haphazardly dropped anything and everything I could, lightening the load, to escape wherever I was before night fell.
(Those that were around didn’t see me at graduation… I ditched Gunnison before my running season was even over, and I left my final camp in Colorado in the middle of a late summer night without a goodbye.)
Dawn brought me big-eyed yet weary to California.
Of course in the transition that was night, I stumbled around in the darkness and the unknown… and am still stumbling every now and again as I take my first steps on this new terrain.
Not always a morning person, especially this early on, the very beginning of the day includes some minor grumbles as well.
Stumbles and Grumbles. Basically, I’m crawling around like an oversized infant again. (I’ve even been reduced to a similar shape… distended mini beer gut, no boobs, and where the hell did my ass go?) There really isn’t any other experience out there more humbling than that.
Me: An over-sized infant who needs to break up with beer, and get back on her feet.
Slowly though, I’m finding the people and resources around here that are available and willing to help, and as the day gets a little brighter, I’m taking some steps a bit more sure-footed and confident in my approach. I’m also starting to find my voice again, but still mostly shy in the new surroundings, or at least quietly trying to figure out who won’t get entirely turned off by my jaded and sardonic undertones. It takes a special person to handle me, I am aware.
That aside, my current state of being (stumbling, grumbling, and completely humbled)… obviously isn’t exactly the peak position to wow a crowd. So I remain mostly quiet in my little mountain town… trying to calculate and maintain the correct balance of persistence, plus patience, to make that big comeback when I’m ready.
I’m still on the ground, dusting myself off, as I watch friends and rivals race ahead in adulthood (day two in fruit fly years), winning races, and traveling the world, scoring contracts, careers, or some nice piece of ass and catch to call their spouse. All these things are well deserved and keep me inspired for the future, (and maybe only a little bit jealous and zealous). Keep it up my friends!
I realize I’ve always traveled at a bit more of a slow and steady pace than the normal human, but I still get there in the end, even with my unconventional distractions and approach. I believe there is more than one path to get somewhere, and that is what makes competition so much more interesting.
For instance, I like to follow the progress of Neely Spence, a former DII runner like myself, now a Brooks athlete, already making immense strides in international competitions, and an amazing role model- America’s sweetheart of distance running. In one of her blogs, she mentions the methodological approach she has taken to pursuing her life as an athlete, likening it to playing a well-planned and strategic game of checkers. In comparison, I feel like I am playing yahtzee with four dice, hoping the fifth falls from the sky and lands on the correct number.
But not every one is dealt the same hand of cards… let alone involved in the same board game.
Although I am stumbling, grumbling, and completely humbled by athletes such as Neely, I’m waking up slowly in the wee hours of adulthood, and I swear I might still be dreaming. How the hell did I end up in such a beautiful place? I see Big Bear as a place with so much potential, and full of amazing people and resources that are willing and able to get me back on my feet, running, racing, and winning again.
Some huge steps have just been taken, with the helping hands of a few people here (literally finding me at the bottom, in the dirt, and grabbing me, pulling me away from tears).
I won’t go into all the details just yet, but am happy about the new direction, experimentation, and changes I am making. Just a little but more patience, plus persistence…