Friday, August 24, 2012

Get Big

I rode horses (and if you would care to argue the point, I rode the best horses) for years. We had a phrase: Get Big. A horse getting big was a thrill, but you had to get just as big as the horse, otherwise, you'd end up somewhere in the dirt. Getting Big wasn't so dangerous as it was focused.

Here is what you need to know: when a horse Gets Big, you have to make the decision to Get Big back, or back the horse down. If you back the horse down, the ride sort of falls apart. Nothing technical may go wrong, but it won't be anything special. If you decide to Get Big too, you are in for the ride of a life time.

Tomorrow starts a stretch of time I have put a lot of stock into for most of this year. In the next 30 days, I will start (and hopefully finish) an ultra marathon, I will start my MS in Epidemiology, I will turn 30, and I will get married. My therapists likes to joke about me adding a few things, just for the heck of it. I think Life just Got Big.

It's time to Get Big back. To accomplish this, I have to stay focused, but I also have to let the ride unfold on it's own. In the keenest sense of the words: I get to sit back and enjoy the ride, while staying present to direct it. I can be scared to death and have the time of my life in the same moment.

The crazy thing about Getting Big: you can never truly be prepared for it, because it happens in it's own time. The first question a lot of people ask when they find out I'm running a 50 mile race is "How do you prepare for that?" Have I trained? Yes. Have I trained hard? Yes. Do I feel prepared? Not in the least. The same goes for my masters, for marriage, and for all of the other things life could possibly throw at me.

Tomorrow morning at 7:40, the starting gun will go off, and I will have to push aside all the fear and doubt I have about running 50 miles, and just go. While most of the runners there will be simply starting a race, I'm going to be starting the ride of a life time. I'd better Get Big, or get left behind in the dirt somewhere.


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