I wanted to be a famous athlete. Not for the recognition but because of what it represents, winning.
Today is Saturday, long run day. Typically, I run two or three shorter runs in the week, early morning runs on the trails around my home. It's a training schedule I've stuck with more or less consistently for thirty years.
Back then, runners on the roads of North Wales were a rare sight. Cars would slow down, sometimes a moron would shout lewd suggestions out of a window wound all the way down. Sometimes they'd turn the car around for a second pass. Sometimes they'd pull off the road up ahead and wait for me to run by. Once, a man leaned out of his car to slap me as I passed.
I haven't won a race yet. I've never placed last either, this is the real miracle. I wanted to win, and for a long time, I tried hard to place higher. Speed work took me so far, ageing into another category should one day get me the rest of the way.
Today, I was in a rare mood. You might recognise it; I felt strong, intentional. I can't create this feeling, it just happens. It feels like I've reached out and touched a moment.
When I run, my mind drifts from this thing to that, chores, kids, work. Not so much today. Today was for asking questions and for answering, well.
Will I win?
Twenty years ago, it was hard to imagine I'd ever run again. My family was told to come to the ICU where I'd been since my emergency surgery. I was too out of it to know the worry I was putting them through, and for a long time, they didn't tell me about the phone call from the hospital.
I remember the anaesthesiologist stopping by with some excellent drugs for my nausea. He asked me what I was doing, I said stretching as best I could. Three weeks later I went out for a short run with the dog.
All running is winning. That's the truth, my truth.
This week in Writer of Things, I wrote a post on the power of asking, and, why the Fear of the Pain of Failure is Like Having A School Bully Camped On Your Shoulder, and why it doesn’t have to be that way.
I don't know how you found Writer of Things. Signposting? Referral? Luck? However you got here, you have arrived at what is a pretty useful resource for writers. It's probably not the most useful, but then again how many of those publications are written by runners? Writers need to move otherwise we die, young. Let me help you avoid that, subscribe to Writer of Things. Thank you.