When I was in middle school, I started running track. I was not a very athletic young boy and the major growth spurt that usually spurns a person of my age into athletics had simply not happened. But track appealed to me because I liked to run. I ran a lot – all of the time – almost from when I got up to when i went to bed.
That’s a far cry from my current physical state, but that’s a different issue for a different time.
In middle school, I ran the middle and long distances – the 800 meter, the 1600 meter, and the 110 meter hurdles. I ran away from field events, they required strength, and I didn’t have it.
But it was an article in Runner’s World during the summer before my Freshman year of High School that changed my thoughts about running. It was there that I read the story of Steve Prefontaine.
Prefontaine, usually just called “Pre”, was one of the most gifted and spirited runners of his time. As I’m offline as I write this, I can’t begin to write about his accomplishments. But he was a man who ran fast, won races, and had chosen to live his life out loud. He suffered through controversy, heartbreak, and other challenges before being tragically killed in a car accident at a young age.
Yesterday, I was in downtown Boston with a co-worker and stopped into Niketown to show him the marathon exhibits that they had and take a look around the store.
On the ground floor, at the end of the marathon exhibit, was this quote from Steve Prefontaine:
To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift
I’m a pretty intense individual about alot of things – but I could be more intense at work – more intense on getting things done at home – but importantly, alot more intense with taking care of myself. Prefontaine’s quote on the wall, combined with a scare earlier this week with my health, made me think.
So I walked over to the running section and bought running shoes and workout clothing.
Long live Pre.