Playing a Hard-9
Born and raised in St. Louis, the Cardinals World Series win last night was a great moment. Made even more special because this was NOT supposed to be the year for the Cardinals. They were big underdogs, barely made it into the playoffs, their pitching staff was decimated by injures. Seemingly everything pointed to reasons why they couldn't win...instead they stared down adversity and beat three great teams to prove everyone wrong. It's a lot like those of us who aren't supposed to be running in distance events or competing in triathlons. While few of us enter races expecting to win, all of us enter races to find our own victory.
The manager for the Cardinals always preaches "play a hard 9" -- 9 innings of playing hard, every play, every pitch. Great lesson for life and for pushing to succeed in anything. As I was pushing through my 10 miler this morning I kept thinking about that "hard 9" philosophy, realizing with each step more of what it was all about. You see, we owe it to ourselves to stay true to our goals and our ability. Sure there are days our bodies need a break and our stamina is cashed, but most times, I am reminded that if I am to spend this much time away from my family, I better be working my tail off and getting a good health return on my energy/time investment.
I love the fact that David Eckstein was voted World Series MVP for the Cardinals. Here is a guy that literally is the smallest player in the major leagues. In an environment where the bigger the player, the better his chances is the norm, this guy shouldn't have a chance. But he does because his grit, because of his toughness, because of his humility and because of his humble approach. Sure, being 240 pounds society says I'm not supposed to try to do a marathon, sure being overweight I wasn't supposed to be lining up to do a triathlon, but it was part of my plan to make a change and it worked. Now dropping more weight and pushing myself more is just part of the process. It's not where you start that defines who you are, it's where you end up.
Needless to say, the fact that the Cards won it all brightened my early morning run through the moonlit trails. Great 10 mile run (4 or it with a friend) and, like, the too small, too short, too untalented player that won MVP, I've got a lot of work to do every day to keep up with the expectations I am putting on myself.
Town Lake Trail
9.43 avg pace