Thursday, July 05, 2007

263 - Pride

The title, one of my favorite parts of any post. Oddly missing from this one. I had this thought, a breakthrough, and had to post it. And yet here I am. With a post, and without a title. Quite the contrast.

In a way this post will consist of 50% recycled material. You can thank me later Mr. Gore. The breakthrough though, it's in the other 50.

This summer has been hard for me. Hard, simply because it's been so easy. There are some days when I haven't done a thing, and that disappoints me.

Conversely there have been some excellent days and weeks. By no means has this summer been a failure thus far-- it's just not been as manly as it could have been.

(That's the old 50%. Here comes the new)

Jaron wrote a post
about his Music dreams and all that stuff. He talked about making an album, writing songs, all that cool business. It was nice to read because it was just straight up. Here's what I want to do, and here's how I'm going to do it. Bam.

In effect, you could say that it inspired me. Jaron's out there following his dreams. I looked at myself in the mirror while shaving and thought, "Why are my dreams going unchased? That's the problem!"

It felt good to have that thought. All the sudden there were options. Like the man said, if I want something, I got to want it bad. I've got to want to chase my dreams with a vengeance.

A few moments later though, I had found yet another road block. What were my dreams? To be honest, I couldn't think of any.

And there, in that brief moment between shaving cream and three or four razor-blades, the path opened back up. Maybe it was the insulin, maybe it was the smooth face, but I felt rejuvenated.

Realizations don't mean results, but they sure mean a lot more than a simple shave.

So what's the plan?

Somewhere around the end of third quarter and the start of fourth I was really pushing it. Homework was fierce, AP tests looming like so many looms in the English textile industry. I was pressed, but I wasn't ever defeated. In a way it was the best time of my life. So hard, but yet so rewarding. One night as I listened to Insideout, like I so often did during those days, I came across crazy.

Oh, we're never gonna survive unless we get a little crazy
I adopted it as my unofficial motto for the weeks to follow. Life was crazy and raging. Mounds of paper conspired against me, but I leveled up as I hacked and slashed my way through them. What I was doing was something I'd never done before. I knew it was possible, but I'd never proved it myself. Hesitation and doubt didn't fit into the schedule. I knew that the only way to survive, well, was to get a little crazy.

And so I did. The image comes to mind of Hai Ho jumping off the diving board during a friday cross training workout in the pool during summer XC last year. Hai Ho, our little asian buddy, was eager to show us his mad skills. Never known to be the most graceful or athletic animal on the team, he was loved by all. he stepped to the board, did a little warm up, and with nearly no vertical jump propelled himself forward off the board, spinning on at least two axes with arms outstretched like a man excited to hit that water.

The only way to beat the classes, the obligations and survive was to jump in head first spinning like crazy. Hai Ho had shown me the way in water, now it was time for me to forge the path through Princeton.

I did it, and I did it crazy. Maybe this is out of line, maybe it's whatever, but I am proud of what I did. I am happy with the choices that I made during those trying weeks. When it was up to me, I rose to the challenge.

Did I fall? Yeah, all the time. Some nights just didn't see the studying or the working out that I said I'd put in. Some days I was mean. My language wasn't as clean as I wanted it to be. There were problems with those weeks. With the flaws I had to keep pressing on. I couldn't give up, I just had to adapt and fix the problems.

Crazy. That was the only way we made it happen. Launched head first into the waves. Not on someone else's word or will, but by my own volition. Hit the waves swimming and running, falling occasionally, but getting back up and fighting back.

Am I proud of it? Yeah, I am. I had a challenge, and I feel like I rose to the day. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying this to boast or be arrogant. It doesn't really matter that you know this part of my life, but it's the way things are, and I'm writing it.

Why is it important to me? Here, on 4 July 2007, why is it crucial? Because here I am on the banks once again. Staring into the deep, taking those deep breaths.

But this time it's not a frothy tempest demanding attention and power on all sides. The sea is calm and arrogant. It stands before me with that smug look on its face that always seems to say, "Prove it. Prove you're who you want to be. Make me do it."

The sea is wide, nearly limitless. Waiting for me to tame it, to shape it and make it do my will. It's not the one throwing the punches this time. I'm the man with the gloves, and it feels like I'm about to box a glacier.

It's not like the glacier is going to counter my moves. It's just that it's a glacier. It's big and unmoving. To the glacier, it doesn't really matter whether I punch it or have a picnic in its shadow. It's a glacier, it's going to be there for a while.

But the picnic route just isn't good enough for me. It's simply not crazy.

The glacier, this arrogant sea that begs to be denied, it's going down. I will rise up. I will prove it. I will be the man I want to be. Taylorsville's pool couldn't stop Hai Ho from smashing it to pieces with his crazy dive, and this summer won't stand in my way.

It's been three weeks of not making it happen. Minus Mondays, three days spent making money, and three days for dates. That's 12 foiled days.

Hey Summer, right now it's 16 to 12, me. PLC week, plus the good stuff. That's right. I'm already winning. And you know what? I'm just getting started.

How am I going to do it? What secret moves will I pull off to pants Summer and laugh at it? All it's gonna take is a dream or two.

I've got a title.

I'm going to find out where I want to go, and I'm going to run, bite, and swim as hard as I can to get there. Right now I don't know where that's gonna be. The diving board has held me glued for long enough. Ladies. Gentlemen. Friends. It's go time.

Oh, we're never gonna survive unless we get a little crazy


Rachel Frost said...

Nice post. Awe-inspiring. :D

Kortney said...

Very Inspiring