Today I felt…alive

After four hours of sleep, my alarm went off at 6:30. Now, if I were going to work, I would be miserable, and probably hit snooze. But this morning, I was excited and enthusiastic to get dressed. New sneakers, my favorite black spandex pants, college track hoodie, and my track backpack. I’ll admit – I freaked out for a minute – “What should I wear? I look like a student. I need to look like coach. Should I wear jeans and a hat instead? I need a stopwatch and a clipboard.” I didn’t know where either item was and figured it’d be a bit much anyways, so I settled for my running watch.

I got to the track meet and immediately felt all of the great high school memories come rushing back. What the absolute best years and moments of my life were filled with:

The starting gun and that feeling in your stomach
False starts (ha)
That look on the kids’ faces at the end of the 400 when all you want to do is puke/sit down
The extra push on the final straightaway when you’re blacking out but you hear your coach/teammate yell
Matching team outfits and group warmups
My parents always, always being there – my mom in the stands and my dad running around like a maniac taking pictures
Numbers on the chest bibs (that you gotta keep) and hip stickers

All of it. I miss all of it. THOSE were the good times – way better than college even. I had nothing else to worry about. No job, no mortgage, no bills, no heartbreak (really). Life was good.

So today was good because it brought together my three passions in life: health & fitness (track & field), volunteering, and writing (ok, just now but w/e). Given how crappy life has been the past few years, it was nice to feel…happy again. In the sense of maybe I should incorporate this more into my life. No, I can’t quit my job to become a coach/run myself again, but something…you gotta make room for the things that mean the most to break up the otherwise mundane life.

Everyone kept asking me why I don’t run anymore. “Because I graduated from high school and college??” But I do realize that some adults still run on the side. I mean, I’m already at the gym every day “training,” and most of my injuries have healed. I almost feel like I could be better now that I “know” a little more and what I’m capable of. I had to hold myself back from racing some of those kids. Call themselves running my times. Don’t make me school you…Ahem. But that is a new goal for the list – when I win the lottery or start making $300k a year, whichever comes first; I want to start a track club! That’s what all of the teams there today were – not through the kids’ schools, but like community things. I would want to just buy a big ol tour bus and let the kids join for free – sweats, uniforms, sneakers, spikes, travel/food/fees covered. How cool would that be? I know it sounds random/warm n fuzzy/cheesy, but this isn’t the first time I’ve really thought of it. If I really had my way, I would quit my job, and open my own gym/train for MMA (yes), and in my other time, go school to school to teach kids about health/fitness (like what the First Lady does – my shero). Whether it’s sports or school lunches, you really gotta work on that stuff with them. If you don’t start there, you get the obesity epidemic we have now. Not cute. I’ll get off my soapbox, that’s another post. In any event, that would be my health/fitness/volunteer thing, and thennn write about it for some fitness magazine/blog. The end. All I want out of life, for reals.

Anyways, today was awesome. Especially talking to the little 8 and 9 year olds – they all thought I was 18 and really cool (duh). I got one of the relay teams really excited when I asked who was running what leg and what I used to run, and when I asked what their favorite event was. I even had a heart to heart with a poor little distance runner that got thrown into the 4×200. Her teammates called her out on being scared and I told her to not be scared, it’s just one short lap; and that it’s cool that she can do distance, I just do 30 seconds and am tired. She smartly said “You just have to pace yourself!” So they went and ran, and actually won their heat by a lot. I’m not saying I change lives but…It was nice to see them and all of the kids so happy. IF I ever have kids, you better believe they’re running track (or whatever they want to do? sure…)