Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Reflections and Fragments

Reflecting on my time in Charlotte
The races rattle around in my memory as if they are ghosts of a time past
A fragmented glimpse of a finish line or a spectator smiling and waving
Friends and handshakes
A moment of laughter
Periods of reflection and friendship
Staring down the track before the start, knowing show time had arrived
Shared meals and smiles
Fatigue and welcomed showers
A brown eyed girl with video camera at the ready
Heat, sweat and exhaustion moving athletes, officials and spectators perilously near dehydration.
The starter’s commands and the crack of the starter’s pistol
Medals hung from ribbons that dangled around smiling faces
Ascending the medal platform barely suppressing a smile
Hung heads and brave smiles of the others
Lightning storms and mass crowd retreat to the safety of a parking garage
Distance runners struggling in suffocating heat
Staggering displays of speed and athleticism
Brightly colored racing uniforms
Crowds of athletes anxiously waiting for the official posting of times and results
Igloo coolers of Gatorade and water too quickly emptied
Crowded tents; people seeking protection from the sun and hell-like heat
Rude and inconsiderate race officials
False starts
Clean starts
Valiantly chasing my coach, the World Record holder in my two finals races
Handing the baton (with a gigantic lead) to the same speed king described above in the 4x100 relay and watching him sail to gold
My name being called throughout a prelim race by legendary announcer Peter Taylor
Friends in the stands calling my name after a race
Smile meeting smile
Challenges survived
Goals achieved
Success granted to some
Success denied to many
A cooling breeze too quickly gone
Hotter than hell heat too long persistent
Long cool showers in the hotel
Sweat soaked, wet racing clothes
Sleepless nights as competition loomed the next day
Dinner, smiles and laughs with friends
A remarkable restaurant in downtown Charlotte
The sad face of a very tired Brown Eyed Girl whose feelings I callously hurt
The returning smile of Brown Eyed Girl after I apologized, something I learned from my female blog friends
Coming back to all of you and your tequila bottles and swimsuits
I hope you had as good time as I did
Let’s do it again, except for hurting feelings

In one of those odd twists that happens sometimes, I got both a laugh and a little disappointed when I saw my name in a USA Track and Field press release during the weekend. The story was about my coach and friend, the legendary Bill Collins. In the article you will see that they describe me in a less than flattering way. This, despite the fact that I just proved I was the second fastest 200 meter runner my age in the US, losing only to the man that has run this distance faster that anyone our age in the history of the danged world! (Which is a long time). Yes, the runner-up mentioned in the story is none other than your blog friend Seven. Oh well, better to be a tardy 2nd than a distant 3rd.

If you would like to see the race described in the press release, I have placed the video here.

Below is a photo taken during the race somewhere around the 130 meter mark of the 200 meter race. World Record holder Bill Collins leads and teammate 7 chases from behind (same uniform) and would eventually earn the silver medal. Everyone in the race is between the ages of 55 and 59.

In the 100 meters I earned the bronze finishing behind Bill and the current World Champion Marion McCoy.

Teaming up with Bill and Houston Elite teammates Mark 'White Lightning' Hastings and Charles Allie, I managed to come home with gold in the 4x100. So there you have it…a trifecta, Gold, Silver and Bronze.

In a closing note to all the above I would like to thank Lynilu. She wished the spirit of Mercury to enter my body. And Lynilu, I want you to know that I actually affirmed your image while waiting in the blocks for the start of the 200 meter final. If you watch the video you might see Mr. Mercury himself slip inside. What a wonderful affirmation.

I owe you one.


Rick said...

DAMN THAT'S FAST! Ol' Bill sorta smoked everybody on the start, didn't he? Bet the PR guy can't come within two seconds of the winner. Congratulations!

Jenn said...

Seven - awesome post. From start to finish. Even the part about admitting you hurt Brown-eyed Girl's feelings. The entire post is so real.

Regarding your races - I am once again amazed and simply impressed beyond any words that are worth writing with your ability and your strength.

I'm sayin'...it's true what my dad says about old-man strength. Seriously - I'm inspired. I don't think I'll ever do what you do...but I know I can do better than I've done. Even if I start with one or two exercise shows a day....


Jack Nasty said...

Thanks for sharing your racing results with us. As I look at the photo I do believe you and Bill are flying!!!! Congrats, all your hard work sure paid off.

Bellarosa said...

Amazing words, a beautiful tribute to the weekend. I could almost see, hear and feel all of it.

Well Done, you finished with dignity.

Lynilu said...

seven - I agree that your post is beautiful and inspiring. I loved the list, especially when you said that you and Brown Eyed Girl are again in concert. It sounds like you had an awesome experience. Congratulations on the trifecta!!

Ah, seven, you are gracious. I wish I could take credit as you've offered, but, my friend, it was all you. I do think I saw Mercury just for a flash in the video, but he couldn't have been there unless you drew him in. If my words opened the portal, then so be it, and I'm honored to be in this small way a part of the amalgam.

You are an inspiration.

Angie said...

See, apologies DO work ;) Congrats on your track honors!!!

Grant said...

Although less than flattering, it could have been far worse. "7, moving at the speed of glacier..." or "Coming in a distant 2nd (aka LOSER), was man-slug 7." I could go on and on. And so I shall.

"7, with a body built for the 100 meter mosey..."

"Disgracing the nation once again with his pitiful performance, 7 eventually sauntered across the finish line to resounding silence, as the entire crowd had already packed up, gone home, had dinner, and fallen asleep."

"7, unlike such talented runners as Bill Collins..."

So, cheer up - it can always be worse. =)

Seven said...

Yes, I see what you mean .....

patti_cake said...

It sounds AWESOME Seven! I would love to see you run someday. Glad you apologized to BrownEyedGirl. I love the Mercury reference, Lynilu is such a special lady.

Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

"The returning smile of Brown Eyed Girl after I apologized, something I learned from my female blog friends"

Very good...glad you got the smile....:)

Reach said...

As I read the Article, you also had to fight that 2.5 Mile Per Second headwind! (did you catch that one?) I do not think most people can even consider a Second Place under those conditions, yet achieve it. Why even consider the words of any publication, that maintains the inability to report a basic wind speed?

Seven, you are digging for ground in that photo, it is easy to see the shear force and power. The photographer did an outstanding job of capturing an athelete's (your)ability!
Also, about "The Brown Eyed Girl's smile, I think you have made more than one girl smile on that one; most importantly, "The Brown
Eyed Girl".
Just some thoughts,

Seven said...

Thanks Reach,
In the track world allowable wind speeds are measured in meters/second, hence the wind was -2.5 meters per second, strong enough to be illegal if it had been behind us. In fact Bill ran an astounding 11.26 100 meter prelim that would have shattered his own WR, unfortunately the wind was slightly above allowable.
Yep, I think the sisterhood is at attention on that one, for sure.

Reach said...

Meters/Second does make more sense. In my line, we do deal with Nautical Miles per Second, so I naturally jumped on that one..LOL

Angie said...

And 7, you forgot the 2nd Agreement....don't take anything personally. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality. The writer's reality was that you were the guy that finished behind Bill. Your reality is that you're the 2nd fastest man in your age group in the U.S. Don't let that writer steal your reality.

Seven said...

Thanks Angie, and I know that lesson well. A few years back it would have actually bothered me; with Ruiz's lessons incorporated i know the truth of what you say so well here. Those were the best athletes in the nation and each had a chance to be second. Ruiz's lessons are profound aren't they?
Bless you.

Leesa said...

Very cool, Seven ;)

Enemy of the Republic said...

I'm glad you did well and enjoyed the experience. I have to catch up with your other blogs now!