Monday, October 16, 2006

The Results

I think it's high time that I start producing more results.

See, running around in circles is great, but by tomorrow it's all gone. Nothing remains of me having run around in circles, excepting that I'm in better shape.

However, if I run 8 miles, and tag my name under an overpass, well then, that's leaving something for tomorrow.

Nah, I'm not going to be a gangster, but I do want to start producing more results. Not necessarily in the running category, but in the hanging out category. When me and my boys hang out, I want to make something, or document something, leave something for the generations to come. Hopefully you'll see what I mean in the near future.

In other news, I'm going to pull a kyle and post my English paper up. This might not be the best idea ever, but considering that it's due tomorrow, there's little chance that someone's gonna hork my paper. And, well, the paper is nothing more than a glorified blog post, so here we go.

Mutant Races

I'll just come out and say it- I rarely win. As a proud member of the Taylorsville High School Cross Country Team, I train every day to become a stellar athlete. I run until my everything hurts. The pain I feel transcends the general “Oww, my feet hurt” statements. Even the respectable “my thighs feel like they're being attacked by an alligator wielding a machine gun” statements don't accurately portray my feelings. As I run, my mental faculties rapidly diminish, and the chemical processes that fuel my muscles go union and strike for better wages. It comes to a point where the only words that I can intelligibly utter are “Oww, my everything hurts.

But, despite the pain and frequent wishes for a mild ankle-injury that would put me on the bench for the rest of the season, I truly do love Cross Country. I am enamored with the sport because it makes me feel like a champion. Even when I lose big time, I can go home at night and be content with the results of the day. My team and I have done a fair amount of losing this year. This is not because we're fat or slow, it is simply because we are in a region with notable mutant schools like Jordan and Alta. Through the use of numerous magical potions and the assistance of an elite team of ninjas, they run crazy fast. It's not even funny. When we go to meets against them we already know the outcome. We know that we are strong, we know that we have worked out like mad for the past 4 months, but in the end we know that their mutant powers are going to outrun us. As such, we know that winning is nearly impossible. At this point, their teams are simply faster than us, and at least for this season, they are going to beat us, every time.

All pessimistic predictions and results aside, Taylorsville Cross Country has had a remarkably successful season. We showed up with a decidedly young team; with only four seniors returning to run for us, we had to rely heavily on our juniors and sophomores. Last season our former coach left us to pursue a head coaching position at Timpanogos, giving Alan Hansen an opportunity to be a brand new Cross Country coach. These circumstances were enough to cause the rest of the world to write Taylorsville Cross Country off for the season. Everyone assumed that we'd submit and go quietly into the night. We blatantly refused, and came forth with both personal and team-wide victories throughout the season. Even though our mutant-friends from other high schools still run faster than us, and even though we finished fifth in the region, we view this season as a smashing success. We overcame the expectations that were forced upon us and surprised the public. We grew stronger physically and mentally, and we met the goals we set for ourselves. Above all, we grew together as a team and proved that we are and will be contenders in our mutant-filled region.

Unfortunately for the Taylorsville trophy-case, these victories aren't recorded on the season score card. Rather, they are significant only to our team, significant to the individuals who won them. Skyline doesn't care that I got a personal record at the region meet. I, on the other hand, feel great joy and satisfaction in winning that intimate victory over my previous time for that course. From this, one can conclude that victories are personal phenomena, and are not necessarily relative to the performances of others.

Victory comes when we meet the goals that we set for ourselves. In our fourth meet of the season, I was passed in the most obscene manner by a short Jordan kid halfway through the race. It was evident that he had increased his speed from his usual pace for a brief moment for the explicit purpose of passing me. As he shot ahead of me, I thought to myself, “Oh snap, he just broke all the rules. He just committed the cardinal sin of running. He's running with an extremely variable pace, and everything I've ever learned tells me that he should therefore lose. The very laws of the universe require that he who runs smarter runs faster. He's running stupid, it is my duty to defeat him!” In reality, my oxygen-deprived brain produced a much less elegant version of the soliloquy, one involving numerous references to “quit now you fool!”. The point however, was the same; this Jordan fellow needed to be defeated. I set the goal then and there that I would cross the finish line before he did, and that even if it killed me I would kick his butt.

What followed was an epic battle, a lactic-acid factory of sweat and power. Every time I would get close to re-passing him, he'd sprint ahead a few meters and settle back into his normal pace. I'd approach again, and he'd leap-frog once more. This was the second major violation of runner's etiquette that he had made, and it only strengthened my resolve to conquer him. We pushed each other all the way up to the finish line, dueling until our lungs could duel no more. With only 60 meters to go, I finally managed to pull ahead of my sworn enemy and hurl myself past the finish line for the victory. I had passed him, and I had accomplished my goal. Once my brain was again capable of higher reasoning, I felt pretty pleased with myself. I had slain the dragon, I had conquered the foe. In my mind I was draped with the American flag as I boarded the bus back to Taylorsville. No Jordan short kid is going to beat me today, oh no. I was the champion, the biggest baddest kid on the block. Victory was indeed mine.

But, taking a step back, I wasn't even close to getting a win according to the score book. I had taken 10th place. That means that nine other gentlemen ran considerably faster than me. As a team, Taylorsville took third out of three. We didn't win, we had indeed lost. I didn't win, but I was still victorious. Because I met the goals that I set for myself I claimed a personal victory. It is easy to discern and see that getting a victory is not synonymous with getting a 'win' on the scorecard. Instead, getting a victory is simply overcoming the challenges and accomplishing the goals that we set for ourselves.

As humans, whenever we set out on an endeavor, we desire to fulfill the task set before us. Whether it be successfully brushing our teeth, or getting the paper projectile to land in the garbage can, we desire success. When we set a goal and fulfill said goal, we achieve victory. While there are many forms of victory, the concepts remain the same. Whether it be victory over self, victory over others, or victory over cheese, we must follow the same formula to attain victory. If we set a goal to run faster than we did yesterday, or to run faster than a short Jordan kid, or to slice the perfect piece of cheese and we accomplish this goal, we are victorious. It matters not what the season scorecard says, and it matters not if you smell like a terribly sweaty rhinoceros for your efforts afterwards, the fact remains: you are victorious. Victory is found in the annals of our personal goals and personal performances, not in the illuminated bulbs of the all powerful scoreboard.

Shabam, that's all for tonight folks. Good things are on the way.


Courtney said...

I particularly liked the “my thighs feel like they're being attacked by an alligator wielding a machine gun” statement. :D Thatcher, 2 words. You're Amazing. Smart, athletic, and funny. No wonder all the ladies want you. :) ;) Way to kick the crap out of English. :D And the short, Jordan kid.

Combat Kyle said...

Wait a minute, you're an machine gun-weilding alligator? ^o)

Good work, if only I were that good at swimming :P That's death too, I dunno how excited I am for it in all honesty. I think I'd rather stay after school and play frisbee. Alas, I am trapped in teh class, and must be on teh team.

Ah well, it'll be fun.

Good post (y)