Monday, October 22, 2012

Some Benefits of Getting Old

There are some benefits of getting old.  Here are my top two.
  1. I'm not dead.
  2. I no longer "need" to prove I'm a man by doing some great athletic feat, which is good because I'm not really capable and never have been.
There was a time, however, when I felt it was necessary to prove my manliness while running.

My wife is a runner. She's fast. She's also injured, which means I no longer run with her. And we have five kids. When we were first married, we ran together almost every Saturday, and by together I mean she'd wait up for me.  I, on the other hand, was racing. I beat her twice.  The first time I beat her, she thought I was hurt and ran back to look for me.  I had taken a shortcut.  The second time I chased her down at the end of a five-miler.  She didn't know we were racing...and she was seven months pregnant. 

I used to occasionally enter local races.  One such race occurred on New Year's Day. I don't recall the year. I do recall feeling a tweak in my calf muscle about half way through. I kept going. About six really old guys passed me. I couldn't hold back any longer. I just had to beat the octogenarians, so I sprinted the last mile, injured my calf, and couldn't run for another several months.

Then there were all those morning or afternoon runs in the park or on the streets where I just had to "race" everyone I saw. That's just stupid.

Those people behind me eventually passed me.
Now, I don't care. Maybe it's that completing a marathon gave me the self assurance that I'm good enough or maybe I'm an adult now.  Of course, that doesn't stop me from swimming in alpine lakes for no apparent reason. Looks like I might need to do an Ironman.

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