This Sunday. 8am. A projected high of 49 degrees. At 8am, we’re looking at freezing temperatures. Will the sun be out? Will it dare to shine? What will my iPod be tuned to? What ratio of podcast: song and within “song” what ratio of hipster:hip-hop shall occur? Will I create a special playlist just for the run? (I’m considering it – 20 minutes music, 1 hour-long podcast (will it be Filmspotting? or my own podcast? or the ever-growing popular favorite Battleship Pretension?), 40 minutes music)
Last week, I gave myself a bit of a test and ran for 1 hour, 50 minutes. I was tired afterwards, but I had felt that I could have gone on a bit longer, pretty easily. Compounded with the natural rush of a) am official race, and b) running with loads of other people, I have no doubt I can finish in under two hours. At exactly 2 hours, my average mile for a half marathon (13.1 miles) would be right around 9 minutes, 9 seconds.
If I can possibly get enough of a boost from those aforementioned things, plus the advent of having sips of water during the race, my “I’m a damn rockstar” time would be 1 hr 45 minutes. Is this even conceivable? 105 minutes, 13.1 miles (avg time: 8 minute mile – yeah right). Even 1 hr 50 minutes would be more awesome than awesome. I want the challenge, I need the challenge.
I played basketball all through my childhood and during high school. All sorts of teams. School teams, Dad-coached teams, AAU teams, church teams. In 5th grade, when I moved to Missouri, I arrived just late enough to impress other people in time to be asked to join a team. They were set. They were already practicing. So. My Dad coached a coed team at the local church – all but one girl quit, and we ran the table. Our 6 foot 5 center, Trevor didn’t hurt either. AND, me and my new friends formed a B-league team (we tried to be in the A-League but lost our first game 52-4) at the local arena – The Sports Center. It was an all metal building with a red roof and one basketball court, but for 5th graders in Southwest Missouri, it might as well have been Madison Square Garden. The church team went undefeated, the Sports Center Team lost every game except our last one – the game for last place.
I’ve gotten off track. The point is, is that there were moments from 5th grade through 12th grade when an athletic moment took hold of my life. Close games. Rivalries. And there is something about the hype of a basketball homegame in the middle of January, on a Tuesday night, the student-fan section, the band section, the parents section; in a way actually entirely different from theatre, you had a stage on which to impress. A forum to display an ability that could, for even just a brief moment, inspire awe. In others and in yourself. Do you know how good it feels to hit a 3-pointer in front of 1000 people? Or how it feels to steal the ball from a player you’ve been guarding for 3 quarters and is sortof a douche? Or how it feels to run a set offense so well that the way in which your whole team passes and moves without the basketball warrants applause?
I’ve been on teams where I scored most of the points, I’ve been on teams where I was a role player. I’ve made some big shots. I’ve missed some, too. On Sunday, though, there is only me. It doesn’t matter if there is an “i” in “team” because I AM THE TEAM.
Is it safe to say I miss playing competitive sports? Yes it is.