Filling Space

09Sep08

I have a lot of friends at Consigli Construction(www.consigli.com). For years, I’ve got a kick out of working with them on various projects for a variety of reasons. But the one consistent theme I’ve found every time I’ve worked with them is the passion these guys have for filling up empty spaces. When they get around a set of plans, there is an intense focus from every team member. They see the possibility of what they can create, how a hospital, a school, a library or a laboratory can come out of ideas, materials, budgets, schedules, commitments and space. I find that inspiring.

For the past ten years, I’ve lived about half a mile from this field. It’s part of Hingham High School. Every Saturday, I drive by it and it is filled with kids playing sports. They are building strong bodies, having fun, learning something about teamwork and maybe even laying the groundwork for a college, Olympic or pro career. Most importantly, they are taking a largely empty space and filling it with their meaning.

As I try and get faster, I’ve been looking for new things to bring to my workouts. Though I’ve always been pretty committed to doing speedwork, intervals and tempo runs I’ve almost never included “strides” as part of my workouts. This is in spite of the fact that almost every article I read about speedwork includes strides as an important part of a week’s work.

Basically, a stride is just a windsprint across a preferably grassy 100 yards. Rather than going all out from the get go, you build up your speed over the course of the distance so you’re running all out by the time you get to the end. It gets the body used to going fast, hits some muscle groups that don’t get involved at a more moderate pace and again, is universally recommended.

So this morning, after a brisk six miles in the woods, I packed the dogs back up into the car and took the short drive over to this field to bang out six “strides” with a jog back to the starting line. It was my opportunity to fill up the space with my own meaning. I want to get faster, I saw the field and made a connection to how it could help me get closer to what I want to be. Like my construction friends, I saw a space that could be used to build something. It wasn’t the first time the space had been used for this and thankfully, it won’t be the last time.

Diet Update

Weighed in week 1 of the diet and was pleased to find myself at 150lbs. That’s 3lbs in a week. I always lose fast in the beginning which is a good thing but it also shows how much crap I eat when I’m not paying attention. When I say I’ve gone on a diet, all I’m really doing is eliminating desserts, chips and stupid foods (french fries, doughnuts etc). A little bit of judgement is a good thing.

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One Response to “Filling Space”

  1. 1 David

    I’m enjoying the blog. I could relate to using the open field. There is something about training on grass or a field. You can truely build something with the open space. Consigli Construction is construcing an amazing boathouse on the river in Brighton. I have seen the changes over the past year. I could understand your description of the company based on watching the evolution of the building.


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