Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Gonna be a long one

The Picture of the Week

Yup, that's me, drooling like a horse. That wasn't staged, that was taken by my brother as I took a nap one day. I had only been asleep for about an hour, and he saw the madness and couldn't resist taking pictures. The little beep from the camera woke me up, so we got a better picture of it, free of obstruction.

Dang straight.

The Quote of the Week

"Don't knock the weather. If it didn't change once in a while, nine out of ten people couldn't start a conversation."
- Kin Hubbard

Ya know, there are just some things that you want to do, but can never really find the time to do. If you really want to do something, you'll make time for it, if it's really important to you. But what about stuff that isn't amazingly important, but stuff you'd still like to do? Unless you're good at using time, it's not gonna happen too often. I'm not good at budgeting time too well. For the last two weeks or so, I've wanted to bust out and play some DDR. It's been a while since I've just jammed out. I've only got one pad, me and my sister used to play alot together, just switching off. That hasn't gone on for a long time, so I just haven't been playing. But, I got the DDR dreamin', so last night at 11, instead of doing the algebra I should have, I tuned up my white-boy DDR skills.

I sucked big time, but I did get my ENTIRE shirt wet. You all know I sweat. I sweat more than anyone I know except my brothers, but last night was something pulchritudinous. It was just coming out. I really don't think that any of you aside from Andrew have ever beheld such sweat coming from me. During hockey season in gym, the Canadian version of Christopher Thatcher got a sweat ring all the way down to his belly button. Last night, the Asian version of Christopher Thatcher transcended the ring, and the shirt became one with the perspiration. It was complete. No fiber was spared. I was waging a war of attrition against the parched weave of my shirt, I was there to liberate the thirsty threads, the thirsty seams. In South America, they refer to Simon Bolivar as "The Liberator". In the DDR realm, they know me by one name only; "The Dominator"

In less dramatic news, I ran a 5:02 at the meet yesterday. It was the region JV meet, which basically means it's a tri meet that doesn't count for anything, but there's six schools there. So, it's like a hexameet. Anyone who made state, and most seniors don't run. This means the competition is less fierce, and it's alot more laid back. So, I got third in the mile, and I'm pretty happy with that. The Jordan Freshman Phenonemon won with a time of about 4:59. Had I had 50 more meters, I would have caught them. But alas, I did not, and I'm really happy with how I did. Sure, I didn't break 5 minutes, but c'mon, 2 seconds off? That's close enough for me! New PR, w00t.

Our 4x400 team did way good too, I was super happy about it. See, the 3200 race is right before the 4x400. Me, I didn't wanna run the 2 mile yesterday, so I didn't. I really should have, cause I could have got third easy, and second with a little effort. Had I been willing to bust it, I might have even had a shot at first. But ya know, I don't mind, cause alternate Thatcher got 1st, and that's just like me getting the victory, except he wears a skyline uniform and runs faster than me.

But anyways, I was totally fresh for the 4x4. I was excited for it. Usually we don't have enough guys, so we end up scraping guys, usually guys that just ran the 3200. Our 4x4 team is usually abysmal, so abysmal in fact, that by the time our 4th guy gets the baton, the other teams are done, or nearly done.

However, we had 4 fresh guys for the 4x4 yesterday. Kirt Heywood led off, he handed to Sievert, he handed to me, and Taylor Laj-y was our anchor. That wasn't the original order the coaches put it in, but we figured that it'd work out best. The only real difference was that I was supposed to anchor, but we decided to switch to taylor down at the line because he's faster.

So, Kirt ran a way good leg, and Sievert ran a way good leg, and I think I ran a dang good leg myself. Laj-y wasn't fresh, so he didn't run as great, but he still did fairly well. I made up some ground on my leg, so I was way happy about it. I love that race, it's so fast, but not so fast that it takes the brain out of it. Distance is all about your brain. Your body comes secondary. In a distance race, you're only running the very fastest that you can for one or two hundred meters. Everything else is something less than that. You've got to think about it, you've got to be able to push yourself fast enough to compete, and stay with the guys in front, but you can't push too fast, or you fall over and die. Idealy, you ought to fall over the finish line, and die right there. Your last breath ought to be about 20 meters from the finish line, and in a perfect world, you'd sprint those last 20 on brain damage fumes.

Of course, that never happens. But, that's the glory of distance. It's 60% mind, 40% body. If your body isn't in shape, you can't do anything. However, somebody that is willing to work harder than me that isn't in quite as good of shape can kick my butt any day. You've just got to pace yourself just right, and be determined.

It hurts out there, and it takes alot of power to tell your body that it doesn't hurt. That's why distance is great. With the short sprint races, it's all about how your body is tuned. There's no brainwork involved. You run forward, moving your legs as far and as fast as they go. Your brain ultimately has to shut off, and your body just gets into that cyclic rythym, and you go. In 100 meters, there's no room to think about race strategy, about how much you hurt, about anything. It's just go. There's no room for mind over matter, it's just matter.

That's why I don't like sprints. That, and the fact that I suck at them. Which brings me back to my original point, the 4x400 is pretty much the coolest race ever. 400 meters is one lap, and you run it as a sprint. It's not a full sprint, but it's dang dang close. I run 100 meters in about 13.2 seconds. I run a 400 in about 57 seconds. That's 14.25 seconds for a 100. So, it's pretty close to just plain out booking it. So, you've got the sprint work. However, it's long enough that your spirit, what's inside, actually counts. This isn't just a mindless dash down a straight line, this is a fierce and furious race in that endless oval they call a track. A kid with liver cancer can run a 100 meter race, and finish it just fine. It's only 13 seconds, 11 or 12 if you're fast. Nothing hurts for 13 seconds. You can hold your breath for 13 seconds. You can get in insane freezing water for 13 seconds. 13 seconds is underneath the threshhold of pain. You can do anything for 13 seconds. So, the 100 is painless.

The 400 is a pain factory if you do it right. In the mile race, you absolutely sprint the last 150 meters or so as fast as you can. You're pushing it, your legs are the loosest they will ever get, your body is literally bulging with adrenaline, you go for it. You've saved up enough for this final push, you sprint in to your reward. In the 400, there is no such feeling. If you save enough for a death sprint at the end, you have run too slow in the beginning. You try your hardest to push and sprint and get out there, but your legs refuse to move any faster. The last 150 meters burn your legs, a sensation distance guys hardly ever feel. It's fast, but it's long in it's own short sort of way.

In the end, the 4x400 combines all the good aspects of track. You're out there running your hardest, with just a hint of spirit pushing you from within. You run fast, your body is getting pushed, not punished like a distance race. You know that it will be over soon. There's never the dreaded, empty stomach feeling of "Great, 6 laps left..." like you get in the 3200. Your brain doesn't even function until you've run 100 meters, and your body doesn't start hurting for another 50. By that time the idea of reaching the halfway point and really pouring it on keeps you occupied, so you can ignore the pain. The 300 curve is the hardest part, you're trying to build up to that death sprint, but it's not there inside of you. It comes anyways, nobody knows where from. We've got a crack team of researchers from MIT looking into it, but so far we've got nothing. So, you find it somewhere, and you go. That last 400 is emotionless, your brain turns off for that final push. You go, but even though your brain is quiet, the subconscious is painted like a giant mural on your stride, your shadow, your everything. They can see it, even if you can't hear it. Determination is solid, steady, repeatable and predictable. Your steps come the same, your arms move far and faster, farther than they need to. You're going, and you're going to finish. If your mind has given out, your steps are sloppy, your head looks around for some release from the terrible competition you and your body are in. Your stride betrays you in the 400, it'll give you away.

Whoa, poetics aside, I love that race. It's got speed, it's got you, your body, and your spirit giving it your all. It's got teamwork, it's got a shiny baton, and it's 4 minutes long. It's dramatic, it's powerful, it's everything track ought to be, and nothing that it shouldn't.

We got 2nd. From the way I write, you'd think we just won state. Nah, it was 2nd, at the JV meet. That's not much, but it was fun. We're taking it as seniors though. We've got Blake, who runs a 53 second 400. He went to state this year, and he always runs with the A team. I'm not too great at the 400 right now, but I think I could train up to it. Kirt has mad skills, he'll be dang good. I don't know if I'll even be on this amazing team, but wow, we've got potential. It's go time.

Break Time:

I said that this would be a crazy long post. I've got alot of stuff stored up there. If you want to stop now, go for it. The rest isn't going to be track related. I'm moving on to other topics. I promise, it'll be there tomorrow, so if you're tired of me, leave, and come back later.

There are two weeks of school left. This is a good thing. But, it also means there's alot of homework coming up. Things that I'm going to have to start working on.

In English, I've got to read 1984. It's finally gotten interesting, but I need to finish it about a week ago. Then I've got to write some essay comparing a character from 1984 to some character in another book I read. Yeah, I definitely didn't read another book. So, I'm using some character from the database of books I've read, and comparing him to some guy who's government says it's a crime to think. Makes for a dull boy.

I've got to do my algebra presentation thing on how people use math in real life. I don't even like group work in that class. It's hard, cause it's a bunch of people I don't have classes with and robert. I'd honestly rather do it myself. And so, I think I'm going to.

Those are pretty much it, but they're projects, and it's the last 2 weeks of school. That's a bad idea. I'll get em done though, but I can guarantee I'm going to procrastinate and then stress over them the night before they're due. Alas, that's my fate, I'll take it like a man.

Mesh networks are really cool. I might have mentioned them before. One of these days I'm going to write the future. I've got ideas. They're nothing but ideas. They're not money making schemes, they're not brilliant ideas about how the world is going to be. But I've got a picture of the future, and for some reason I want to get it out. One day I will. The problem is, it's not my style. Writing like that, not my style at all, so it's hard. One of these days though, one of these days.

Zero is an interesting thing. You can't divide by it. I honestly don't know why. I never really knew why. I always assumed that it'd end up as 0. I know it's a rule and all that you can't do it, but why not? Why can't we solve it? Why can't physics solve it? Why do graphs do that weird asymptote thing? Why can't it just be a happy straight line, devoid of huge gaping gaps in logic where 0 found its way into the denominator? What's the deal with zero?

I have no idea. But it's out there. That big zero. There's just some stuff that's gonna confuse you, so you can't do it. You pass any other value into it, and shabam, things work out great. But there's just that one number, that one idea that might not even be a number, that thought that is and yet isn't, that can't be passed into the equation. It confuses everything.

Zero is interesting, but I have an appreciation for zero.

I have a good idea for something to get the crowd involved. But, I don't feel like writing about it right now. I'm excited about it though, it'll be interesting. Also, I updated the gallery I think. I might have. I dunno, I plan on doing that after I finish writing this. But that doesn't mean I'm going to. I plan alot of things.

So yeah, I think that's it for tonight guys. This wasn't as long as I expected it'd be. I expected more. The track thing totally came out of nowhere too, I wasn't even gonna write about track. And there I went, writing like an animal. I swear I write the same thing every time I write. About how the sprints suck and how the distance rocks. How it's about what's inside, not about your legs. About how I almost hit the mark, but never quite. Yeah, it's look goosebumps. It's the same book, republished 132 times, with new names in the blanks. And this time, instead of the magical hand that kills things, it's a magical can of creamed corn. Spooky.

Region dance on saturday. Gonna be good. There's gonna be food, and girls, and more food.

Anything else? if you want to run cross country, it's gonna be fun. I'm getting good. I'm on two weeks break right now, workouts start soon. Ah, it's going to be nice.

Well friends, associates, mystery blank, I think it's time for me to go. I've been writing for a very long time. I think I might have a little fear of saying too much. Hmm, that's a new thought, I just barely had it. But ya know, I think it makes sense.

I'll have to sleep on that one. But, mystery blank, have a good night. From me, the man who writes too much and doesn't say enough, have a good night. Be happy. Don't be afraid to get out there and fight for the things you want. Don't be a pushover. Get out there and work hard, stop being a slacker. Just do it. It doesn't matter why, it doesn't matter if you're not going to get anything out of it, just do it. Do it because it's the right thing to do. Don't do it. That stupid thing that sounds a little shady? Don't do it. But that other thing, that thing you don't want to do, but know that you ought to do. Just do it. Go for it, it doesn't matter why, you know you ought to. Thank you Nike. Just do it.


Anonymous said...

I wish we had a picture of Thatcher's geometry word search sticking to his face...hahaha....

Jaron Frost said...

I believe that you, sir, are one heck of a good blogger, and writer in general. You kept me interested that whole time, even wanting a bit more. Makes me want to go write a forever long post now. Maybe I will, maybe I won't. You have us see through your eyes, and that's a vital thing in the world of writing. Don't stop now! ^__^

Anonymous said...

Dear sir,

Unlike that other guy, I think you suck at writing

Love Alf Alfa

Anonymous said...

And another thing,

I will not go write a long post, FOO

Nick said...

No region dance for Nick... :(