As Good as it Gets

22Nov08

Before settling in to an episode of Survivorman last night, I saw that my Blackberry was blinking. An email from Jack Felling informed me that my young friend had just won the semi-annual Chelsea Piers open mile with a 5:20. His SO Lindsey Dean took the women’s division with a 6:00.

Now, there’s never been any doubt about Lindsey’s chops as an athlete but there was a time when I thought that Jack might be a little more interested in looking like some dude in one of those magazines that smell like cologne instead of cranking out serious numbers on the track. He’s proved me wrong with this performance. For months, it’s been my great pleasure to train with him and he’s pushed me every time we’ve got out there. Having someone to share the load of getting it done makes training infinitely more rewarding. Of course, concrete results like Jack’s are nothing if not inspiring.

05 am

Trailhead at 7:05 am

So, with that little bit of info under my belt, I got up this morning and headed over to Huntington State Park for my weekly long run. Usually, I do this on Saturday but I’ve got to work tomorrow. An attention grabbing 17 degrees of arctic air blew right into my face for the first mile or so but once I got into the run, it proved a magical morning. The dogs went swimming and were covered in ice for most of the fifteen miles. I saw several groups of people out mountain biking, walking their dogs and even a couple of fellow runners. And despite getting absolutely crushed at a Hybrid Athletics workout on Thursday, my body had bounced back enough to handle the run with ease. There is no way to put into words how good it feels to be an “almost 43 year old” and shoot up a technically challenging monster of a hill like it was nothing. At 43, my father had a two pack a day habit that dropped him in an emergency room with a heart attack. I think about that every time I hit the trail. I used to smoke two packs a day too. Glad I don’t anymore.
The girls after their sub freezing run and swim.

The girls after their sub freezing run and swim.

With the run under my belt, it’s time to turn my attention to company. We’ve got friends coming down from Massachusetts today and my sister and her friends are dropping by for lunch. If you put a gun to my head, I honestly couldn’t think of anything more I could truly want, than the day, the life I have right in front of me.

I’m sober, healthy, in love, employed, surrounded by friends and father of two of the neatest kids you’d ever want to meet. This has got to be as good as it gets.

It's awfully nice to be loved by these two.

It's awfully nice to be loved by these two.

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