Monday, July 26, 2010


I could hear my heart beating in my chest as my feet pounded the cinders. When I started, my feet felt light as a feather, like they had wings. They slowly metamorphisized in to lead weights. Surely if I jumped in to a lake their mass would have dragged my straight to the bottom. My breathing went from controlled to desperate, which was followed by waves of nausea. I could feel the color drain from my face, my cheeks jiggling with each step. I might have even been drooling, but in the moment I could care less. I just wanted to finish the race. The sad part was it was only 400 meters. Just one simple lap around the track. I was a sprinter but my coach asked me to do the 400. How hard could it be? It's not like it was a marathon. As I sat under the bleachers after the race with cold sweats trying not to lose the cafeteria pizza I had for lunch earlier that day, I had my answer.

The sad part is I was in the best shape of my life back then. I was 16 and invincible. I would hate to think what would happen if I tried that lap now.

The memory comes the evening after my friend Mark Lee successfully completed the Iron Man in Lake Placid. I don't know his final time, but he did finish which was the ultimate goal. He had to start with a 2.4 mile swim, then do a 112 mile bike ride and then finish with a full 26.2 mile marathon. I can't even imagine the games his mind must have been playing while he pushed his body and sanity to the limit. My hat goes off to you Mark for a job well done.

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