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Ithaca, New York.
No Masters mile record at Cornell University on Saturday. I was prepared and my plans were well laid but a trip to the inside lane left me short.
The first lap of the mile race was a jumble of elbows and near misses as the thirteen of us (mostly college kids) furiously jockeyed for position. I spent all of it in lane two and three.
In heavy traffic at the 200 m mark I saw an opening to the inside lane and made my move. In doing so I clipped another runner’s spiked toe and fell hard on the inside aluminum rail.
After a bruising impact to my left shoulder and a heals-over-head forward somersault I sprang to my feet and, dazed, accelerated back to full pace. “I’m okay. No harm done. I’m still in this. I can do this.”
Now ten meters behind, I refocused on the task at hand and steadily willed myself back to the pack.
Having caught up, I ran well through the 800 m mark. Then fatigue hit early and it hit deep! Keeping positive and focused from there became increasingly difficult. I ran hard, experiencing the final 300 m in a sort-of tunnel vision.
It was over. Although I finished respectably and did beat most of the college athletes I wasn’t close to my record-breaking goal.
Track and field is, like life itself, a terrible and a wonderful endeavor. Just like life we don’t always get what we’ve worked hard for and deserve.
However, when we fall behind on our payments, fall down on our luck, fall short of our goal, or just plain fall flat on our face, we do have the choice of what falls next.
Do we fall victim to the injustice, fall out of hope, into despair and wait until next fall to try again?
Or do we realize how precious and fleeting this moment is? So we scramble to our feet, hustle back to full stride, refocus on the task at hand and without fear, do as Paul suggests: “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.” (1 Corinthians 9:24)
Let us fall on our knees when we need a lift and then fall unto the habit of rising each time we fall.
If we do that, it surely will be a great trip!
Thanks to all of you for your kind words of affirmation and encouragement as I stretch my limits and fall closer to my goals. Also, a huge thank you, for their generous support, to my corporate sponsor Get Air Trampoline Parks, LLC. (Val, I definitely caught some unexpected air on Saturday!)