Sunday, September 4, 2011

September 4th, 2011 - Day 57 of 60

Earlier in the week sprinting legend Usain Bolt of Jamaica was disqualified from his bread and butter (did I say that... must be craving it) event, the 100 meters, due to a false start.  I can't pretend to know what it must be like to be a world-class athlete with so few real events in which to display your prowess.  Really, you've got the World Championships and the Olympics.  So, it is like being a great musician and only getting to play two or three concerts a year and they all mean EVERYTHING.  With normal people, you work at least five days a week, so if you mess up, you shrug your shoulders and you go on.  With someone like Usain Bolt, you can't afford to do that.  You work incessantly all for what... 30 good seconds on the track a year or so?  All the work he put in for so long was out the door because of a misunderstanding of the rules.  Quite hard to take.

When you combine the level of proficiency with the massive training and the psychological stress, these athletes are like taut violin strings ready to snap.  Is it any wonder Bolt had a false start?  His whole life revolves around exploding out of those blocks and running faster than anyone has ever run in the history of our planet for less than ten seconds.  It is amazing beyond words.  All that pent up energy and anticipation and competitive fury.  I am shocked more of them don't false start.  I've seen horses do the same thing in the gates before a race.  They are edgy and just want to run.  Those gates are a foreign place to them, but the open track in full gallop, that is where they are in control and where they are comfortable.

On day 57 of my Reboot I felt like Usain Bolt and those race horses and didn't know what to do with myself.  I am trying so hard to relax because I know I need to do so.  I've worked too hard for too long and I need to understand that relaxation is as much a component of health as the ability to work.  So, after a while I did alright.  I was planning on going to our annual Irish cultural festival, but my grandson wanted to come over and spend the night, so we stayed home instead.   All that pent-up energy was getting me edgy and, truth be told, it still is.  Like a sprinter, I am in the last few strides of my Reboot and I can see the finish line.  Now, the fact that you see the finish line doesn't mean you relax.  Any runner knows that the finish line is just a place through which you continue to run.  Yes, it is a goal of sorts, but it isn't the end.  With my race coming close to the point at which I can slow down, I still feel the burst of energy.  I don't know what that might be.  I think part of it is I am still uncertain of my direction after this ends.  Yes, I know what I want to do in a general sense, but I guess I want something more solid.  Too many distractions and too many choices.  And, if I am honest, I will say that I am uncertain.  That is likely because, unlike the thoroughbred and the sprinter, the race isn't the place in which I am most comfortable.  I have years of training to put in before that occurs.  But I will be fine and once the last day goes by I will know what I will do.  I may do nothing except keep running in the same direction for a bit because it seems like a safe and smart thing to do, just as those sprinters do. 

The good news is that Usain Bolt was able to channel that energy not used in the 100 meters into wins in the 200 meters and a gold medal/world record for the Jamaican team in the 4x100 meter relay.  Even starting falsely can end up in a truly victorious finish.

Finally, I think all my extra energy comes from knowing that my finish line is really just the starting line.  It is almost like being Bill Murray's character in "Groundhog Day" in that when I hit that finish line tape, all I am doing is coming off the blocks again.  That sort of uncertainty can make one's energy churn. Usain Bolt can revel in his victory, but champions are only as good as their next race.  Like a runner on a Möbius strip track: there is no beginning and there is no ending.  All there will be is the race.  Once you can wrap your head around that, it all works out.  Since my early nutritional life was one giant false start, I hope my end will be like Mr. Bolt's and not only afford me redemption and some small victory, but also help wipe away the disappointment, regret and damage from that failure.  Like Mr. Bolt, I plan on giving my best, even when there are false starts and the occasional misstep.  Unlike Mr. Bolt, my biggest race is every day.  Thankfully I am not celebrating with the Jamaican track team, for I would likely succumb to the overpowering wiles of Jerk Chicken.

I am 90% through the 60 days.

Weight: 147.5 lbs.

Food: Banana, Almond Butter, Raw Cacao Goji Seed Chunks, Clementines, Cherries, Watermelon, Almonds
This happy chap is from my garden. (I added the eyes)

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