“It’s funny how many of the same things that draw people to us, push them away.”
Remember Byron’s birthday at Playa Tamarindo in Costa Rica? That day when you sat naked in a tree, tripping balls, surfing crystal clear waves under the bright Central American sun without a care in the world?
Two early twenty-somethings made a pact that day to always live life to the fullest.
Fast forward almost 20 years, and those dense jungles and wave-thick beaches of Costa Rica are now filled with hotels and tourists, and you two “twenty-somethings” are all grow’d up with jobs, family, responsibilities and those things that get you pats on the back from elders, winks from the boss, and a mailbox full of credit card offers.
From time to time you get together with some of your old friends and you share a drink (or 30) and reminisce about what was. You take a sip, hoping to wash away the strong desires to go back to that life of total freedom and reckless abandon – but it doesn’t work.
And HEY, dumbass, that won’t win you those ego-soothing pats on the backs. The bosses will think of you as flippant and immature. The elders will shake their heads.
“What’s wrong with that boy?” will rise as a general sentiment.
Engulfed in Indecision
So here we are Christian.
Eight days away from the start of the Keys 100, and boy have you been a complete neurotic mess.
What are you going to do?
It’s been a hoot watching you pick up the pieces from your last breakdown, train hard as nails, and improve like crazy; but you didn’t know when to stop.
Unable to make rational decisions regarding your training and racing, you literally drove yourself to complete physical shut-down.
You were watching the badasses, and trying to be them.
But you aren’t them.
But you try so hard to convince yourself that you can be, regardless of the reality of your age, your late start, and your genetic makeup and physical potential.
For someone who the working world believes to be so smart, you seemingly have no sense. Or so you’ve been told.
That physical shut-down took you out, dude. Sloggin’ around, barely able to walk, every single muscle in your body sore to the touch. You looked so crazy ridiculous after that CrossFit Challenge when you couldn’t even straighten your arms.
At least your wife could laugh at you.
Six Miles to Clarity
But this morning, as we ran along, we remembered who we really were. Er, who we really “are”. (you know “we” as in me and you – this is a letter to you, from me …oh nevermind).
We just don’t always make sense.
We’re a little crazy. A lotta’ irrational.
Chance-y, crazy, kooky …and completely averse to being what people think we should be. Doing what people think we should do.
Is that a problem? yea, probably. But it’s who we are.
We have to live life to it’s fullest in whatever definition we deem.
100 Miles or Bust
And just like that, it was settled.
We know who we are. We know its not normal. We know people will disconnect from us, and Hell, right now people are probably trippin’ on this whole “talking to ourselves” thing – but do we really care? – We don’t need fair-weathered people in our life.
One thing we can promise those in our life is a wild ride. You want safety in a friend, a spouse, or even just an acquaintance? well, they exist out there. In droves. But that ain’t us… er, you.
We’re going to do that Keys 100 race because we feel like we have to. It’s just that simple. The full 100 miles.
That excitement churns inside us. The unknown. What will happen?
Once the concrete decision was made, I felt your sigh of relief. You worried so much about what people might think ‘cuz you can’t really “race” it. You talked a lot of smack when you were feeling good, man. Vogel is laughing at you. You made all those proclamations about never approaching 100s this way again – for just the finish – and here you are, going just for a finish.
But really dude, who really cares? No one cares and you’re completely arrogant in thinking that whatever you are doing in a race has any bearing or consequence in anyone else’s life – again, simply put, no one cares dude, do what you gotta do.
And So We Write
This is the fun part.
This is where we get to share all of our tortured thoughts, and emotional struggles with regards to sport. We can do and say and write whatever we feel and maybe, just maybe there is someone on the other side of the screen that can say, “hey – I feel like that sometimes.”
Or maybe we can spark some thought in others.
Maybe they will reflect on their lives, feel content with who they are, or decisions they wanna make, and jump off that fence they’ve been sitting on for far too long and just go for it.
…and then of course, some will shake their heads at us, perhaps make a snarky comment or two, and move on without being affected one way or another.
And that’s ok, too.
See you muth_ f_ckas in the Florida Keys!
Whatever happens, indecision will not be one of the hurdles, and I know (we know) that we will do whatever it takes, within 32 hours, to ensure that Sunday afternoon, there is a brass parrot holding up our khakis.