This morning I woke up at 7 a.m. Central Time on the dot and went out for my long run. It's a Friday, not my usual long run day, but this weekend will be filled with activities celebrating the fact that 20 years ago I was 18, and graduated from high school, and I didn't want to have to wake up early and run double-digit miles after being out (maybe late? not sure I still have that in me!) at a bar with old friends.
Everyone else in my family was still asleep, but the sun was well up and angling down the hill of my mom's street. I walked until the Garmin caught the satellites, then started at a slow jog. By the end of mile one, I felt good. The first six miles passed easily, fueled by sea-level air and the fact that the heat and humidity I'd heard about earlier in the month had given way this week to temperatures and moisture levels not so unlike what I'm used to back in Colorado.
I thought a lot about high school, of course. Some of the people here this weekend I've kept in solid touch with; others I haven't seen at all since high school or visits home during college. Most of my memories of high school are good ones, but not all of them are (are anyone's???). And there will be people at the parties this weekend to whom I wasn't always very nice. Hopefully we've all grown up enough and understand that everyone was young and, to varying degrees, selfish and tunnel-visioned back then. But who knows? I myself remember some slights from high school that still prick at me.
The other thing I regret from my younger days was being soft, and a quitter. I took the easy chemistry class rather than the hard one. I had a paper route and often bailed on it rather than get up at 4:30 a.m. to fold papers before school on cold mornings (needless to say the paper got a lot of complaints about me). I can think of other instances of this tendency too, and I wouldn't be surprised if this is how some of my old classmates remember me.
But I didn't quit on this morning's run--all 14 miles and two-plus hours of it. With each footfall, I hope I'm becoming less the way I was then and more somebody stronger. I even, as my McMillan plan suggested for today's run, threw in some 15-second pickups at the end.
Quitters wouldn't do that, would they?