Sprinting Toward a Bold 2011

It is odd. The word “bold” keeps insisting upon keeping its grip on me.

I wrote this post about being bold in December 2010. One of my favorite bloggers, Kristi from Live and Love Out Loud wrote her own great post about boldness. I flirted with (and decided to have an ongoing relationship with) this quote, that I read on “Daily Good”:

Leap, and the net will appear (attributed to Julie Cameron). 
It should not have surprised me, then, that when my friend Patrick Detscher and I started corresponding about his recent opportunity to run a 200 meter race at the 168th Street Armory in New York City, a venue on which he had previously run 30 years ago.

Without further ado, and with gratitude to Patrick for a great New Year’s story … 

A New Year is upon us,

The train ride from Westport, Connecticut to Grand Central is less than an hour; the epic blizzard had reduced rail service to a weekend schedule. Renee was seated comfortably next to me for this short and compelling train ride. As young adults, we had made several ventures into this region when we knew one another 35 years ago. For some reason, this trip was different. As you know; just as a person can’t just “show up” for the Gary Droze FSU Interval Sessions, held every Tuesday at 6:30 pm, nether can they just stroll into the 168th Street Armory in New York City and run.

The new track at the Armory amazes me, as does the vintage wooden track which lies just beneath it.

I can’t claim any of the spike marks on the wood floor picture above are from my shoes when I ran on it three decades ago, however, I can tell you that the facility is called Jungle Land for many good reasons.

The track is very fast in that centrifugal force applies here. If you run fast enough, the high banks can be your friend, run slow and the track draws you toward the center, just like one of those yellow funnel devices which steal quarters as the coin spins gracefully toward the center opening. It’s New York City and the same kids, who once upon a time, did everything they could to elbow, trip, shove and spike other runners are now middle aged dudes.

While running the 200 meter race, I received a warm welcome as I rounded the final turn in lane one; an elbow to the ribs was all it took to send me reeling into the inner area of the track. With God’s help, I was able to step over several sets of sprint blocks and cross back over the rim which runs around the center of the track, while still running full tilt for a second place finish.

Sprinting in the urban areas of New York, which my High School Coach Bill Mongovan exposed me to, will always be a unique and physical type of race. Even though I wasn’t disqualified for leaving the track, the dude who threw the elbow is no better for it. You see, even in Jungle Land, mindful competition is achieved without elbows; by making yourself better and running both harder and faster.

This New Year belongs to the BOLD.