“What do you do when you’re number one out of 36 and number eight of more than 300 people across the country?”
“You remember it is a marathon and that it’s a long way to the penthouse and a short trip to the dog house.”
“That is not an answer. How did you do it?”
“It is a marathon and it is too damn soon to celebrate. Things change on a dime and if you want to succeed you have to be able to dance in the fire and keep going even when you lack energy.
My secret is I never stop going.
And I look for long term solutions and not the one off wins.”
The guy looks at me and I see a look in his eyes that suggests he thinks I am holding out on him but I am not.
There is no secret to what I do and how I do it. As a friend says sometimes the smartest thing you can do is make it “simple stupid” and run with it.
The guy still doesn’t follow so I tell him I would still play in the alumni versus actives tackle football game.
“The people who get hurt are the ones who play scared. The guys who are timid and afraid to get after it. If you are going to go out you need to play hard and with confidence.”
He asks if that means play “fearlessly” and I say no–you need to keep your head on a swivel and stay aware. Manage your fear.”
There is five minutes before I am supposed to give a 60 minute presentation and a woman on the other side of the table asks if I ever hold still.
I smile and tell her my mother tells stories about how I was ever in motion. “She said when she went into labor with my middle sister she suddenly worried about how she would deal with me and an infant.
“I am either very still or in motion.”
Check my email and throw my fist in the air and mumble “right on the money” and get asked if I said “you’re my monkey.”
“Nope, and you if you’re listening to me babbling you need more to do.”
She says the curve in the smile and realizes I am teasing and the angry face fades but there isn’t any more time to banter because I am up.
“I promise that you’re never going to get the next 60 minutes back. You’re welcome to record this and see if it serves as a cure for insomnia or a health alternative to 64 ounces of coffee.”
There are snorts and a few giggles and then I am rolling.
Made a crack on Facebook about men who attended the Vic Tayback school for picking up broads and thought about my college days when I would sometimes drive out to Farmer’s Market in West Hollywood to hang out with my grandfather and his friends.
They were a motley collection of WWII and Korea vets who had endless stories about their time in the Europe and the Pacific, life in Brooklyn and assorted other tales.
Got some very fond memories of those days but sometimes the man I am now looks back and wonders about some of those men.
The fifty something year-old guy recognizes the war came home with some of them but I don’t know if they understood it that way. That generation wasn’t big on men talking about their feelings.
I wonder what some of them would think about the world as it is today.
Told my daughter to remember that even at this age her father has endless amounts of strength for some things.
“Fly now, but remember when you need to rest I can carry you when needed.”
She gave me a smile I hadn’t seen in a long time when I said it and I recognized that she was more nervous than she was letting on.”
I lowered my voice and said it was ok to be nervous and reassured her of my confidence in her abilities. “Remember it is a marathon, run your race and pace yourself.”
Very few people have ever heard me say I can carry them, that is a big deal for me but obviously it is different for our kids.
She hasn’t been away at school all that long but it is starting to feel a bit like it. That is not a bad thing either, I miss her but I am proud of and excited for her.
I see a smile in her pictures that she always rolls out when she is happy and excited. I don’t know if she is aware of it but it is one of those things that parents notice about their kids.
Those smiles and the sound in her voice—that is a gift.
Stumbled across a song that I haven’t heard in a long while but always reminds me of home.
Reminds me of sitting in the back seat of the station wagon and looking out the window at whatever was passing by on our way to Santa Barbara or longer trips to San Francisco.
Haven’t been to either place in far too long but man, I used to hit both quite frequently as a kid and an adult.
Sometimes it is surreal to think about how different life is and how long ago some things were while still having this sense they weren’t that long ago.
Think it won’t be long now before some more of the changes I have been feeling in the air materialize, not if but when.