“It is better to burn out than it is to rust”
I don’t obsess about the passage of time but I have to admit I think about it more than I used to.
A couple days ago I was in a trendy supermarket (not normally my style) shopping for raw material to do my weekly grilling of wild caught fish and grass fed beef to complement my daily “Bulletproof Coffee” habit. Clearly, I am not on the slippery slope to veganism but I do pay more attention to the quality of things I put in my mouth these days. As I approached the meat counter, my phone rang. It was my younger daughter checking in from LA. “Hey Dad, how do you feel about running another marathon?”
|I was the crew when my daughter ran her first marathon|
Like “Alexa” my knees monitor all my conversations. While I tried to say “well buddy, let me think about it” my knees were saying “hell no!, really XXXXing bad idea”. Not wanting to let my aging knees push me around, my rejoinder was “maybe doing a half marathon is a better idea”. So we agreed that we would try to find a half marathon that would be part of her training to run her second marathon of the decade. As the years seem to pass by faster and faster, I am finally learning to begin to accept my limitations….. Well, maybe.
According to my Fitbit, last week I walked, hiked, jogged and hobbled 78.98 miles. Half a lifetime ago when I was running 5 marathons or more a year, covering this mileage would have taken less than ten hours, last week if the “demon on my wrist” is to be believed it took me closer to 19 hours. What can I say, “stuff (aka shit) happens”.
|Going the distance takes longer than it used to|
In a few days I will leave for Spain to hike approximately 112 miles over ten days with several family members on a route “El Camino pilgrims” have been traversing for over 900 years. The entire route is over 500 miles starting in France and terminating near the Atlantic coast of Spain, I am only doing the “home stretch” this time. Time constraints make 500+ miles impractical although I am quite sure if I find the experience enjoyable, I will go back and do the entire distance. Hell, if an untrained Martin Sheen could "go the distance" in the movie “The Way” why can’t I?
I don’t write in my personal blog much these days but it seems in recent years I always feel the need to memorialize getting fired on 9/10/2012. For several weeks after the actual event I felt like I had experienced “the end” of my career only to realize by 2013 I had really experienced, as my wife put it “Christmas in September”. As usual she proved to be correct, in five years on my own I made more money than I did in 23 years as a “corporate executive”. I spent less time working and had a LOT more fun doing it. That said, success only happened because of all the friends I made along the way. Fortunately "being of a certain age" hasn't limited my ability to make a living.
Time has done its job and given me perspective. Seven years after getting fired, I have only good things to say about "the axe falling”. I never pretended it didn’t hurt at the time but fortunately I was able to move on and, with a lot of help, prosper.
I still love the (lithium) business I grew up in but now I spend almost as much time thinking about how I can support younger people in their careers – lithium or otherwise while I spend more and more time trying to slow down my mental and physical decline curve.
Today I held my breath for 4 minutes and 35 seconds while
doing my normal breathing exercises. I couldn’t have done that at age 20, 30,
40 or 50 but I also know running marathons in the 2:40’s as I did “back in the
day” is off the table. So I have to take the good with the bad and look for the
|Lithium has been "a long and winding road"|
I won’t belabor this post. If I do the math and use actuarial assumptions I still have over 40% of my adult life (assume it started at 20) left. Why wouldn’t I focus on the many things I still want to accomplish?
Learn another language or two, write a book and maybe run another marathon with my younger daughter when she turns 40 in 13 years. Of course the more immediate issue is running a half marathon in late December.
I am hoping my remaining glass is more than half full. I am not asking why the engineer designed the glass to be twice as large as required......