On to the Stage

Sunlight floods our chambers. We awaken from much needed slumber. Foam roller and Stick at the ready, we prepare to exit again.

A work week of day jobs still hangs heavy but we are ready to cast off the weight. No matter what happens each day, we put in the miles. Once our feet touch the pavement, our bodies spring into action—legs adapted to the inner chemistry of muscle contractions. Backs straighten, arms begin pumping, head straight ahead—bodies flowing. Over asphalt, across narrow trails carved through grass, into gravelly sand beneath stands of trees surrounded by marsh. Splattering mud, crashing through puddles, we breathe life.

Beautiful death of vibrant orange-red leaves have prepared the way for the new blood of pink-white cherry blossoms.

Frozen lands have thawed and reopened as soft, green pastures.

Cold has become warmth. And that sun…it is SO BRIGHT.

Toiling in obscurity through it all, we have kept moving. All those evenings when colleagues-friends-family were out enjoying happy hours and social events, we were putting in the miles.

All those wonderful Saturdays and Sundays when we could have been hiking, visiting museums, at the ballet—we sacrificed. At the risk of seeming completely self-absorbed within our own lives, we’ve chosen so many times to not spend time with others, at least not according to standard conventions of the society around us, in order to give this our best shot.

Chasing dreams, we push ourselves from one goal to the next. When falling short, we pick ourselves right back up, pulling others around us up, too. Each of us knows what it’s like to fall. Sometimes you have to lose yourself in order to rebuild a better self.

Our day at hand, we won’t be working alone much longer. We are about to step onto the stage. Thousands of spectating fans will envelop us on all sides. Legions of officials and volunteers will be there to aid us.

Stripped down to the barest of necessities, we will don our tiny shorts and singlets as ankles hardened by thousands of miles sit atop the lightest, most supportive shoes we feel confident wearing for 42 kilometers. “Strong-Efficient-Fast.” We have no fear as we toe the line.

The money is in the bank. The hay is in the barn. Now it’s time to withdraw from our mountain of assets. It is time to execute. “Relaxed is Fast.”

To all those running on Patriots’ Day tomorrow—with special consideration for my fellow Van Cortlandt Track Club comrades—I say…

Lose yourself in the journey ahead. Appreciate every moment. Run for the fallen—Martin, Lingzi, Krystle, Sean.

We have arrived and our time is now.

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