Friday, April 08, 2005

A Plot Twist!

“Rocky” wouldn’t have been nearly as good a film if Rocky wasn’t such a loser at the beginning. He was a failed boxer, the only thing that loved him was his dog and the only exercise equipment he could afford was the Philadelphia Art Museum steps. The story, now imitated innumerable times, showed how he overcame adversity to win both the fight and the heart of the girl he loved.

Every great story needs a conflict, plot twist or turning point. Even mine.

That’s right, sports fans, we now have adversity in my own marathon story. I am injured with just over one week to go before the race.

After some very painful runs, I finally saw a physiotherapist (physical therapist) yesterday. The news was both bad and good. The bad news was that I have definitely strained some muscles around my left hip. The good news is that my physio definitely thought I’d be able to fix it before next Sunday.

As I told him, “Just get me well enough to run 22 miles. I can run the last 4 miles on sheer will alone.” He laughed, but I was deadly serious. There is no way that I will have gotten 99 percent of the training done only to have to pull out a week before the gun sounds.

I am also adamant that I will not be a DNF (Did Not Finish). In my book, DNF equals complete and utter failure. Even if it takes me seven days, like the guy in the Victorian diving suit, I will finish.

When I was about 11, I decided that I was going to qualify for Lake Rickabear’s Mile Swim Club. Every summer, lifeguards at our lake would put out buoys in the middle of the lake. After you had swum around the buoys four times, you would have swum a mile. I spent the entire summer swimming countless laps from dock to dock to train. On the day I was to swim it, my older brother Mike and a friend (I can’t remember who) rowed the boat to be my official referee. Now Mike, who I couldn’t love more, was a supportive older brother for the first lap or so, but by the third lap, his own kind of encouragement really kicked in.

“How much longer is it going to take you?” he’d ask.
“Man, you are SO SLOW,” he’d say to lift my spirits.
“I really have other things to do, you know,” he’d say, as he would wave to some girls on the shore.

Undeterred and with an abundance of tenacity, I swam on and finished my one mile. I didn’t care that it took most of the afternoon. I had spent the whole summer training and I was going to do it, even if my brother was mocking me from the boat.

Believe me when I say that my experience that summer will prove handy next week.


Anonymous said...

Will Mike be flying his plane (aircraft? what do they officially call things?) over the race shouting out insults to spur you on?

Bill says you should just lie on the couch for a week. You've worked far too hard, and we know you can do it.

--Noel and Bill

Anonymous said...

Dr. Nolan was known to complete the Lake Rickabear mile in under an hour and a half.

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute, Rickabear? RICKABEAR? Really?

I think I was there back in '83. Some kid with a perm held up the big camp singalong and clambake by taking too long at the mile swim.

Anonymous said...

I hear Tony Blair's running again. Can you beat his time?

Anonymous said...

Yo, Adrienne! Don't forget the cheesesteak for carbs and protein!

Anonymous said...

I an very suspicious of this "hip injury." Didn't you and Tim just come back from a weekend alone in Prague?

Anonymous said...

If you hit the wall with those last two miles to go, just think of an inspirational song like, "Wind Beneath My Wings," or "Eye of the Tiger," or "Funky Cold Medina."