1 – When’s the last time you read The Declaration of Independence? As I was skimming through my usual news and social updates this morning, it was posted more times than I remember in the past, and I read it through in its entirety admittedly for the first time since about 11th grade. As seems to be the case more and more these days, I look forward to holidays as a day off from work, or a day to catch up, and forget what the actual holiday all about. The problems with that are for another post, but as for the Declaration? The dang thing is incredible – the bravery and foresight that the founders of our country had is inspiring and humbling. I’ll try to remember that amongst cocktails and fireworks later today.
I’ve been watching as much Wimbledon as I can in the last 1.5 weeks, and I love the trailer for the upcoming series Andre Agassi did with Jacob’s Creek wineries – a film series seemingly based on digging into the story of some interesting characters – where he says that the only athlete that can comprehend what it’s like to be a tennis player is a boxer – but even they have their coaches and trainers in the corners when they come back, and tennis players don’t. You can view it here http://www.youtube.com/user/jacobscreekfilms/featured. He says “of all the games men and women play, tennis is the closest to solitary confinement. That’s why we open up to the ones we love, and the ones who remain true.” As a lifelong tennis player I know what he means. It can be pretty isolating sitting out on the court on changeovers alone in your head, unable to discuss strategy with anyone else in that moment, having to trust that you can make the right decisions, and mentally and physically hold on to that plan despite whatever your opponent throws at you. I think that’s why my favorite tennis memories are from my high school team, where the individualism of the sport was suddenly combined with the awesomeness of teamwork that I loved from my other team sport days. Suddenly, this very solitary pursuit became something that was about more than me, and the girls I had always played against were decidedly in my corner – whether we could talk during points or not – there was celebration from the sidelines, and hugs and high fives with a win, or consolation on a tough loss. It’s also what I love about the running community. I think Andre forgot a similar sport when he made this video – what other sport is so lonely at times as running? Only you can keep your legs moving, convince the voices in your head telling you that you can’t that you they’re wrong. You don’t even have someone else hitting a ball back at you to react to – you simply have yourself, your own goals, your own mental battles to fight. Until you hit the finish line and the congratulations of friends and strangers, until you meet up with your running buddies for your weekly run, until you engage in the broad community – in person and online – that keep you going through those solitary times. That’s what keeps me running, and sharing, and pushing.
(lighter note – how cute is Sabine Lisicki? I was really bummed that Sloane Stephens, the rising American star, lost in the quarters, but Sabine is now hands down my choice to win the tournament. She’s just so happy, and grateful, and humble and a confident fighter all at once. Turn on Breakfast and Wimbledon on Saturday morning and check her out – she’s an irresistible inspiration).
3 – Track is Back!!
I made it through my first track workout of the summer on Tuesday night. 8 x 400, all around 1:36, with the last at 1:29, right where I was supposed to be. Fortunately the temperature had dropped a bit in time for the workout (you know you live in Tennessee when 80 degrees seems pleasant), which was a relief from the 90+ degrees and 90% humidity we’d been having. I go into each of these workouts with a mix of excitement and dread. I never ran track in high school, so it’s still somewhat new and exciting to me, and it’s fun to see continuous progress when I do the work, but I do have to talk myself into the push every time. But it’s oh so gratifying when it goes well.
Ok, that’s it for random 4th of July thoughts – off on a run through the rain then it’s BBQ time!