If You’re Not First, You’re Last

When I need a good laugh, I watch one of my favorite movies…Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby  it stars Will Ferrell and John C Reilly.  I’ll admit it’s not the greatest movie,  it’s not even the funniest movie,  and it definitely wasn’t up for any Oscars but it makes me laugh every time.   If you haven’t seen it here’s a brief synopsis from IMBd

“NASCAR stock car racing sensation Ricky Bobby is a national hero because of his “win at all costs” approach. He and his loyal racing partner, childhood friend Cal Naughton Jr., are a fearless duo — “Shake” and “Bake” by their fans for their ability to finish so many races in the #1 and #2 positions, with Cal always in second place. When flamboyant French Formula One driver Jean Girard challenges “Shake” and “Bake” for the supremacy of NASCAR, Ricky Bobby must face his own demons and fight Girard for the right to be known as racing’s top driver.”

Ricky Bobby’s dad also motivated him from an early age with his desire to win by teaching him “if you’re not first, you’re last.”  For some reason, this quote kept running through my head this morning.

Today, I was first and last.  If you read my last post about Running Mad, you’ll know that I was supposed to run the Bend Half Marathon today.  We didn’t end up going due to a glitch in our original plan.  I was pretty upset for a few days about it but I realized I had a choice.  I could continue to be mad which wouldn’t solve anything or I could continue with my plan to run and feel great about it for the rest of the day.  I chose the latter.  To be honest, I didn’t even know what I was going to do until this morning.

I got up, had my coffee and was reviewing FB posts.  When I saw a post from the Bend Marathon of a pic of someone holding a sign saying “Half Marathon starts at 8:30 AM,”  I decided I needed to run.  I’ll admit I didn’t really want to run but I knew if the day went on, I wouldn’t feel good about doing nothing.  I headed toward my starting line (at the end of the driveway) at 8:29 and started my watch.  I ran through our neighborhood up and down the streets, around the block, and traced my steps back to our driveway. 13.1 miles later, 2:03 finish time. I was first and I was last in my own race.  There wasn’t anyone cheering me on, I didn’t get my souvenir t-shirt that I would later give to goodwill, I didn’t have any support (water or gu),  no one pacing me, and I didn’t get a medal when I crossed that imaginary finish line.  Race or no race, I’ve been planning on running today since December and I knew I would be happier if I just got out there and ran.

Sure, you could say I basically did a training run but for me, it was more than that.  I was racing against myself.  Racing towards something I love and racing towards happiness.





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