TIART: Just One

October 16, 2008 at 2:04 pm | Posted in Fun, Life, Racing | 9 Comments

It’s Take It and Run Thursday at Runner’s Lounge, and this week’s theme is Running Quotes and Sayings. I’m going to keep this post short, but I really want to participate this week.

Also, it’s difficult to concentrate on my job when I’M FREEZING TO DEATH SLOWLY IN MY OFFICE, NO MATTER HOW MUCH TEA I DRINK AND HOW LONG I HOLD THE HOT MUG TO MY FRIGID NOSE.

But anyway…

I had been running for two years by the time I was a freshman in high school. However, it was this year that I actually became a Runner. A true addict, if you will. My enabler inspiration? Mr. Mattingly: cross-country coach, Boston Marathon runner, biker, skier, reluctant math teacher, ex-smoker, life-lover, Person Extraordinaire.

He used to ride his bike to Cape Cod. From Lake Ontario, NY. For fun. At age 55.

Mattingly ran many races (1473?) over the course of his life. In fact, he used to enter road races with us, and then beat the high school boys, even those about to run Division I cross-country in college.

Perfectionist that I was/am, I would sometimes cross the finish line in frustration, knowing that I had not performed my best and that this race time would be no personal record. Mattingly always greeted me with a huge, radiant grin, gave me a hug, and said

You have about 1473 races left in your lifetime. This is one. Just one in 1473. 

He was right, of course. And I don’t remember any of those bad races-just Mattingly smiling at me at the finish line. And the relief in knowing that I would be a runner for the rest of my life, with other chances to PR, but more importantly, many more opportunities to relax, have fun, and just enjoy the sport.

I think I’ve found my racing mantra for this weekend.

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9 Comments »

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  1. I love this story!! So you ran XC high school and college??? Did you ever get burned out? What great finish line feedback, seriously. What a great guy.

    It’s such a waste of electricity, but my office is freezing also and our company actually got most of us little space heaters for our cubes. Dunno if that appeals to you at all, if your job would get one for you, or if you want to pick up a little cheap one at Target. It def helps, and I don’t even need to overuse it. Just for emergencies.

  2. Hmmm…I’ve seen those space heaters. I should get one.
    I did run xc in high school and college. I didn’t get burned out in xc, but I did get burned out in track. I kept doing it but got a bit apathetic at times.

  3. Aw – yay for Mr.Mattingly!

  4. That is so cool.

  5. wow yes, what a mentor and coach!!!

  6. very cool.

    which all makes me wonder: you have a run-mantra but is it different all the time?

  7. MizFit, I’ve never formally used a mantra, but I’m going to give it a try. Mostly I just sing songs in my head or even count if that’s all that gets me through it.
    The sprint at the end of the race is often just “Right, Left, Right, Left…”

  8. Sounds like a great coach!

  9. […] will run other races. Just one in 1473, am I […]


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