We are often consumed by the task at hand. Focus is key to attaining any goal but maintaining a good balance will prevent falling. I had to make a decision on how my time would be spent most wisely. It was tough to take a day off from the road but I knew an exam still lingered. I thought long and hard about how to manage my time and I figured out a way to solve my problem. I always say there aren’t problems. There are only solutions.
Of course I attended class and prepared for my test. When class dismissed I had to rush myself to the Boys and Girls club to continue my work. I thought a bit about the previous week’s event and I tried to remember how much I talked about nutrition. I might have touched on the subject a little bit but perhaps I needed to put more emphasis on the subject. I wish I had told the kids to eat fruits and vegetables from every color in the rainbow. I did manage to tell them soda was bad. It is one of the worst things a person can do to their body. Luckily, I had a chance to drive the point home at the Boys and Girls club. The kids ran with me and I read them “Prince Dee’s Soccer Animals”. All in all, life is good. Tomorrow it’s back to the trail!
I woke up to a hotel room in disarray. I had abandoned all my rituals during the time away from the road. In my hurried state I tried to substitute the previous night’s dinner for my breakfast. My body didn’t agree with that decision. Once again I remembered why I maintained a strict and nutritious diet. It was the one thing which helped me preserve my body. In my rush to take off I forgot my phone and I missed out on filming a thank you video to the Howard Johnson Hotel in Pico Rivera. I didn’t want to disappoint the kids so I quickly ran towards McGee Elementary school.
Despite battling a tiny injury, I arrived at the school in the nick of time. I ran through the principals office and headed straight to the cafeteria where I was greeted by a couple hundred kids. They had an impressive presentation for me. I only hope that I was able to reach them with my message. I wanted to let them know that they could reach any goal they set for themselves. I wanted to show them that if they take care of their minds and their bodies they could achieve greatness. I always say it is about the steps. I read them some passages from “Prince Dee’s Soccer Animals”. After I closed the book they presented me with a bag of sport related goodies. They included items which I will be sure to use on the rest of the journey. Big thanks to Mr. Knapp’s classroom.
The crew spent a bit of time debating what to eat for lunch so I didn’t really get to hit the road till well into the afternoon. Under normal circumstances it wouldn’t have made a big difference to me but on this particular day I wouldn’t be running the entire way. It meant there would be a chance I’d hit night, especially since the days are still relatively short. I had decided to take it easy on my legs and preserve them until we were closer to the finish line. The one thing about reaching any goal is to remember the race is long and really it is against oneself.
The light wind brushed against my face while I stood on Santa Monica Pier. A long time had lapsed since my last journey. I looked at my legs and asked if they were up for the task. 150 some miles pales in comparison to the 3281 miles I took on a couple years ago. But, as youth gives way to age the body becomes less obedient. Never the less I already had committments lined up and I wasn’t about to fail. I do this to myself to keep life interesting.
I delayed my take off by several hours. The procrastination was partly because I thought of the crazy hardships I had endured. Perhaps I needed a sign. I’ve learned the same thing many times; The world always provided everything necessary for success. Like magic my sign appeared. It was in the form of Bob Wildomire. He was known as Mr. Route 66. Seeing a memorial for him on the pier reminded me of the reason I took on unique adventures.
Without further delay I took off and headed for Pico Rivera. I had forgotten how annoying city running could be. I hit more stoplights over the course of the day than ususal. I worried about my starts and stops because I had been a little unsure of my leg. I had a little spill in a sport other than running. Luckily, the leg felt great.
My late lunch was at a restaurant called Pips. I wanted carbs to fuel my run. I expected a big plate full of noodles. But as nice restaurants go, I received a small plate with really tasty food. I know lots of people enjoy the act of eating but I just look at the experience as fueling. I can’t say I was disappointed but I wasn’t fully filled.
Day one really passed rather quickly. I ran right to my host hotel, the wonderful Howard Johnson in Pico Rivera and jumped straight into my salt bath. I needed to recover ASAP. The reason is that I need to run to McGee Elementary in the morning to have an event for a cafeteria full of third, fourth, and fifth graders. Now I know tomorrow will be insane.