Saturday, October 24, 2009


No matter what you do in your life we all strive for those small moments of perfection where whatever you are doing is effortless, yet the outcome is optimal. When I was fourteen I made a life changing decision to join the high school cross country team. And for the first two years, I hated running. Matter of fact, I really didn't like going to high school. Awkward, braces and glasses really killed the self esteem. I was tempted to quit running and just hide. Yet the masochist in me wouldn't stop. My junior year I made a commitment to religiously train in the off season and I added weights to the routine. Bigger, faster, stronger, and more disciplined I started seeing the fruits of my labor. Then my braces came off, I started my first job, and shed those horrible rimmed glasses in exchange for contact lenses.

And the next two years of high school were quite the transformation. The not so popular Matt Jacobs morphed into the high fiving crowd surfing "Matty J". Senior year I dated often and many, became the high school mascot and got a partial ride to The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The summer before senior year I met my best friend whom I roomed with all four years of college (now he manages my lack of funds as our investment advisor)

But it all started with that first lung burning run, flopping my 14 year old baby fat up and down the sidewalk, and it progressed to a few runs where I could only just go faster and faster and faster. It progressed to a waxing and waning obsession with pushing one self to the limits for that sense of accomplishment, that meaning, and the clarity one can achieve for being such a narcissist.

Today was a run where I could only go faster, it was extra clarity, an ultra high. I dreaded all 10 miles today. It was rainy, muggy, and I was tired from working the overnight shift the night before. The first two miles seemed like bears but my splits were decent. Five miles later after two horrific passes over the Severn River by way of the Navy Bridge, I felt my legs spinning faster and faster. Holding the pace for my kick the last mile it started to pour. And my body cooled as my lungs took in glorious breath after glorious breath and my legs kicked and kicked their way down the sidewalk to a nice finishing time for my thirty year old body. Nothing hurt, nothing seemed difficult, the precision of the run spoke for itself. I felt clean, my mind felt clear, and I felt high. It's a difficult experience to replicate with words. But to me, it's the sense that I kicked ass, felt great kicking ass, and did it honestly. It's a sense of meaning. It is one of those little moments in life that is selfishly yours, and it keeps your wheels spinning until the next one passes by.

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