Sunday, December 11, 2011
When I ran cross country in high school, I was on good teams. I was an okay runner, with a lot of really good runners ahead of me. Our coach, “Bud,” was as old school as they came. There wasn’t so much a formula, or strategy of running hard some days, and running easy on others to best grow endurance. It was just a matter of running hard everyday. His approach worked as teams were really successful and lots of people were on the team. I mostly just remember two different things he said specifically. One, he said, “If someone tries to pass you in the chute (after the finish line), boys, you just grab them by the yin yang. And girls, just elbow them in the nipple. Now, I’m just a guy, but I know that hurts.” My friends and I still talk about that. He couldn’t have gotten away with saying that if he wasn’t an old timer, and he couldn’t have gotten away with it today, either.
The other thing I remember is more applicable to me today. He trained us to always “run through the hill.” A cross country course is often hilly, and one of the things that separated our team was running through the hill. When you’re in a race and you’re going up a hill, all you can think about is the hill ending and getting a chance to finally relax at the top of it. So, your natural inclination is to slow down your effort at the top. Running through the hill means keeping that same level of effort after you’ve reached the top. What then happens is you pass the people who see the top as a chance to relax. After a bit, you realize that you didn’t need that time to relax, you can maintain a good pace without slowing down and revving back up.
I feel like right now I have to keep running through the hill.
The hill was my entire LA adventure, and the temptation is to relax now that I’m home. However, the adventure isn’t done. I still need a job. I still need to figure out a balance between job and writing/acting/hosting/improvising. My inclination is to slow down, but I think I’ll be better for continuing the pace.
Now, if life fights back, I know that I can also just grab it by the yin yang.