Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Bobby Fischer did it.

George Foreman did it.

Jay-Z did it.

Roger Clemens did it FOUR TIMES!

Now, I'm thinking about doing it.

Nearly three years ago I ran the Boston Marathon. It was the crowning achievement on a decidedly lackluster marathoning "career". When I crossed the finish line in Boston, a solitary thought stuck in my mind which would profoundly and positively affect the following years of my life.

"Never fucking again," I thought to myself, and I immediately retired from the sport of marathoning.

That well-considered and eloquently expressed sentiment turned into one of the greatest decisions of my life. I have enjoyed my retirement immensely. No 20-mile training runs. No ice baths. No staring at the staircases in my house and wondering how I'll get down them in my sore and hobbled state. Mmmmm, it's been a good three years.

This year is a little different though. This year I turn 40 years old. That means two things. First, I'm due for a mid-life crisis. Second, the qualifying time for the Boston Marathon gets easier by 5 minutes (11.45 seconds per mile!).

My first thought on the mid-life crisis was to go get a sports car or a mistress. Our house only has a 1-car garage though, so an additional vehicle would be a hassle. As for a mistress, that would be awesome, but apparently those things don't grow on trees. Being a work-at-home hermit, my mistress-meeting opportunities are rather limited. I thought about trying to have sex with the ceramic skull on my desk. I also considered the under-the-desk dust bunnies, which have a certain sexy flair.

Long story short, if you're going to screw a ceramic skull, bring lots of lube.

I analyzed what a mid-life crisis is supposed to accomplish. As near as I can tell, it's some way to throw your life into disarray. Passage into mid-life is generally accompanied by performing some sort of physically or psychologically damaging act. As much as I tried to fight and ignore the truth, for me that type of act is running a marathon.

So, there it is. Like Fischer, Clemens, Foreman and Z before me, I now unofficially come out of retirement. My plan is to run two marathons in my 40th year of life. I hope to qualify for Boston on the first one, and then run Boston on the second one.

Per my motto, however, I am prepared to give up on this idea at any time.


Avery Gray said...

Wow! Best of luck to you! Make sure you bring the ceramic skull along. You might need a little "relief" after all that manly physical activity.

Sue said...

I know how you feel. I also turn 40 this year. I have gone from considering doing an Olympic triathlon to thinking about hiking the Bay Area Ridge Trail. But I totally understand the desire to do "something" when you turn 40.

Mike said...

Avery, I just might do that. The skull is very pretty. It has a rainbow!

Sue, those are two worthy goals you have there. As it turns out, although we may get slower and less nimble with age, our endurance hardly diminishes at all. It endures.

chess h said...

Mike, Mike, you're killing me. With "Bobby Fischer did it" as your intro, my mind went straight to "Died." Then, when you said "George Foreman did it," I thought, "George Foreman is DEAD?" and I wasn't prepared for the onslaught of tears that ensued. Only now, several hours later, have I been able to compose myself to read the rest of the article.

In future, please anticipate all possible thought associations of all your possible readers and take them into account.

Thanks, and good luck running!

Mike said...

Chess, I thought about the potential for misunderstandings when I ordered the retirees the way that I did, and I decided that was a plus and not a minus. Obviously I did not count on your deeply-felt affection for the Ron Popeil of a new generation.

missburrows said...

Sounds like a wicked good idea.

Mike said...

Hi Miss B, well I'm chagrined to report that today would have been my first scheduled run since my big announcement. But, it was raining and I wussed out.

Anonymous said...

Way to have a midlife crisis, dude.

Mike said...

Pretty weak crisis, eh Mox? I've still got some time to come up with something better.

terri said...

I had to go back and read this statement a second time: "Never fucking again," because the first time through, I thought, "That's a very odd goal for a man...."

It made more sense the second time through. No, I have not been drinking. This is just how my brain works.

Mike said...

Hiya Terri! Damn that f-word and its many grammatical uses! I guess I should swear more often so that it becomes clear that I'm using it as an interjection rather than a reference to an activity.