YHC had the pleasure of spending the last four days in Maine, watching his male 2.0 swim a couple of meets for Bates College (Go Bobcats!). Whilst staying in Freeport, YHC went for a run and came across the Freeport Falcons High School, and, more important, the school’s track, which is named after a remarkable alumnus, Joan Benoit Samuelson.
Joanie, as the locals call her (she still lives in Freeport), has an amazing legacy. She won the gold medal in the 1984 Olympic marathon. Her time at the 1983 Boston Marathon was the fastest time by an American woman in that race for 28 years, and stood for 11 years. Her record time for an Olympic marathon held up for many years, as well, and incredibly, her winning time from the Chicago marathon in 1985 remained unbroken for 32 years. Even now, in 2019, in her early 60’s, she ran the Boston Marathon at a 7:00-minute mile pace.
How does she do it? Joanie embraces much of what F3 is all about – her philosophy toward training and life is, “There is no finish line.” Each day is an opportunity to get better, to push beyond the accepted and the expected, to jump the limiting guardrails of day-to-day routines and achieve the uncommon and life altering.
And so this morning we set out in pursuit of our own daily gold medal – we define that simply as finishing the day a little better than when we started it – by exerting ourselves up the 210 Bridge (much thanks to the owner of the bridge, Mr. Train of G-Train Enterprises Inc., for allowing us to use it). The order of the day was bridge suicides, first through the fourth lights for fastholes, and first, second and fourth lights for Clydesdales, with the idea that we’d all finish in close approximation (turned out to be fairly close if not precisely so).
Big shout-out to my boyz McDreamy, Gizzard and Air Bags for going slap-me-silly HARD on that fourth leg to the apex of the bridge; definitely got the heart rates up. And it was awesome to see Wasted out there pushing hard as well, making progress toward his long-term goal, and to see the indefatigable Seinfeld bending the bridge to his will. Love Seinfeld, just love him, such a great guy.
And then… this was so stinkin’ awesome…. And then there was one of the most inspiring moments I’ve seen in F3… A guy who could not run the bridge 15 months earlier, and who now flat-out OWNS the damn thing, our own G-Train, encouraging Coyote Ugly on the way back to the flag to keep it rolling, keep coming out, keep getting better, keep pushing. Keep on keeping on, Coyote Ugly; you couldn’t have a better mentor in the G-Man.
We finished at the flag, and pursuant to the terms of our lease with G-Train Enterprises for use of the bridge, there had to a surprise. (Editor’s note: You shall never see word “pursuant” again in a YHC backblast.) We assumed the plank position and cued up a little Tubthumping by Chumbawamba, dropping for a merkin each time the vocalist sang the word “down.” (McD, my bad – there’s ~ 50 merkins in the song, not the 37 or whatever I said out there.) Some mumblechatter about this being the extended live version, but it was the regular song.
Closed with a COT / BOM. Reminder of the Kraken and Kraken training this weekend. Prayers for a friend who just shockingly lost his wife and the mother of his two daughters; for travelers this holiday; for injuries; for all unspoken needs.
Always a pleasure to lead, gentlemen, thx for coming out. I get so much more from you all than I give. Just so awesome to hear G-Train lifting up Coyote Ugly, and so inspiring to watch CU push through the pain to get better. You got this, CU! Don’t worry about the finish line; just push a little further ahead every day. And with that, YHC is out!