Saturday, February 12, 2011

When you run When you run I run

My very good friend AC has a phenomenal blog. Witty, hilarious, true. I will steal a little of his style here and tell you a story from my childhood.

My brothers Mitch and Mike and myself used to play winter football on the farm in Iowa. We would have pads, helmets, jerseys; we shoveled the out of bounds and yard markings. I, of course, dominated as I am simply a superior athlete. However, usually games were not completed due mainly to fights that would happen related to my endless need to win every game. And when it wasn't going my way I would get pissed off and take it out on one of those poor lads and the game would abruptly end. Did I mention my superior athletic ability? I mean a human being doesn't 'just' average 15.9 points a game in Iowa class 2A high school basketball without it.

Anyway, I can remember ever so distinctly a game where Mitch was all-time QB and I was up against good, ol' Mikel. He was probably 7 or 8 at the time so that would make me a young man at age 13. On this day, I was just destroying Mike. I was, as they say, 'in the zone.' I hate that term, but it's what I was. Anything Mitch would throw up in the air, I mean anything, was caught by me. My defensive skills were just ridiculous. Mike could not run the ball a yard without being tackled and passing was absolutely not to be an option on that particular day.

And then all of a sudden......BLASTED. Kicked right in the nuts my Mike wearing his plastic, velcroed snow boots. I went down hard, out of breath, trying to mutter something along the lines of "I am going to effing kill you, you SOB." I was pissed. And the game was over.

This takes me to last Saturday at USATF Cross Country out in San Diego. I was so ready to go for that thing. Workouts were the best they had been in years. I actually felt good. And confident. Man was I confident. There was no way that I would not finish in the top 6 of that race. And then the gun fired. And I felt absolutely horrible. I was out of the race after the first 3k. The last 4k I snapped out of it, but by then it was too late and I finished up in 19th place, far away from my pre-race goals. And I didn't get mad. Or upset. But man was I extremely disappointed.

It wasn't until yesterday did I feel like the Cross Country race had kicked me squarely in the gonads. I was PISSED. Mad. Angry. I was feeling sorry for myself. I did not go on a run that day....I had very little, if any motivation. Yet this morning, I woke up, went directly to the bathroom and looked myself square in the eyes via the mirror, and said to myself, "Stop being a pussy." And I went and hammered a solid 14 miles with Andrew, got some things off my chest, and refilled that desire to keep trying to meet the goals I have set for this year in distance running.

My point is this...sometimes you can be on fire with anything you are doing and feel as if nothing is going to stop you or get in the way of your great triumph(s), and then that little brother of yours wearing the plastic, velcro snowboots and the Cincinatti Bengals helmet and Chicago Bears jersey can wind up his left foot (even though he is right handed) and just unleash and land ONE and send you to the ground without any warning at all. And the only thing you can do is wait for the uncomfortable, writhing pain to subside, let the anger dissipate, and get up and hope he wants to play another game in a couple hours. Then go out there and dominate just like you had been doing.

On March 12, 2011, I am going to kick the Gate River Run very, very hard in the balls.


  1. That a boy Matty Champ. There is a reason I call you Matty Champ, do not forget that!!!

  2. As your fantastically positive Grandpa Ed used to say, "It's all a matter of attitued!" Great words of wisdom. I have adopted them for my journey; feel free to take them as you own for yours. Go Matty Champ!!!!!! Mom