ROUND 2

Jake and I went to the ping pong thing again last night and I had a great time. I played a lot better than last week and I’m actually getting to know the people and can joke around etc. My first game was with an Asian girl about my age and she whooped me. She was really good at putting back spin on the ball and I couldn’t really handle it consistently. She swept me 3 games to none all roughly 11-5. So I started off the day a little demoralized. I couldn’t really figure out her spin but if you game me a couple more games I could do it. The next game was doubles with Jake and I vs two old people. It was our first time playing doubles ever so it was really weird. It’s a totally different game but I enjoyed the new experience. My third game was against Joyce, the lady I played last week. She swept me last week 3 games to none and I told her I would take at least one off of her this time. She beat me 3-1 in games and two games went to overtime so I clearly got better. It’s all just playing different people and figuring out new things. My last game was an epic match against Jerry. It was the last series of the whole night and it did not disappoint. He got up 2 games to zero pretty early on. I couldn’t get his serve down until game 3. I won game 3 and game 4 because I killing his serve and was in the zone with mine. Game 5 went right down to the wire. I was up 9-8 and choked by losing 3 in a row and he won 11-9, to win the series 3-2. It was a bit disappointing but to a guy who said he would destroy us, well I think I shut him up a bit. I’m playing well and learning fast, I could see myself playing a lot of ping pong in the future.

Dane Cook does a little skit on nothing fights. It’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like, two people just argue over nothing pretty much to spite each other. In his example, he uses an older couple to show what he means but I’ve been noticing that nothing fights happen to pretty much everyone. College is a very big producer of these fights because you’re forced to live with someone that you may or may not like. Just spending every day with people can be enough to cause nothing fights. I don’t know exactly what they mean though. I wouldn’t say that nothing fights indicate that you shouldn’t be friends with someone because that’s not right. At the end of the year even Tristan and I were getting into them. I guess that’s why if a marriage lasts it’s such a ‘special thing’. You have to select the one person on the planet that won’t piss you off over the course of an entire life time. It’s not a very easy thing to do and it’s probably not even meant to happen. I don’t think you should be able to live with one person your whole life. There are so many little things that would just build up over time to the point where you just can’t stand them. If you can do it you’re probably just lying to yourself in saying that they don’t annoy you. I think they’re just a result of constantly being around a specific person.

Well the weekend is coming up which actually means something to me this summer. I’ll probably celebrate by sleeping in past 11, going to bed past 2, and taking those 4 hours that I’m working to lay on the couch and catch up on some movies or guitar hero. 2 things I think I can do pretty much anytime with anyone and it won’t get boring is ping pong and Frisbee. So if anyone wants to play, let me know. I’m pretty much livin’ the life right now. Enjoy the weekend everyone.

Yay Flyer’s?

Good music (in my opinion)… In the Meantime – Spacehog, Brain Damage + Eclipse – Pink Floyd, and Can’t You See – The Marshall Tucker Band. Now that I have my external hard drive I can download songs on my laptop and those 3 have been the big ones. I’ve been listening to them a lot and I really like all three.

So the Flyer’s are in the Stanley Cup. I watched most of their playoff games but I’m still no where near a fan. I said it before, if they win, I’ll feel more of like a spectator… a 3rd person prospective watching all the people around me who are fans celebrate. I feel guilty taking credit for something I’ve never been a part of at all. I’m the kind of fan (for the Flyer’s) that everyone hates. After watching last nights game I can safely say that, yes I can watch playoff hockey and enjoy it, but I will never be able to sit down and watch a regular season game with any emotion whatsoever.

Last night was a good night. I went over to Alex’s to watch the Flyer’s game with him, Ben, and Scott Beury. Now history has me, Alex, and Ben as pretty much best friends from 6th grade on. In 8th/9th grade we had a bit of a falling out, well Ben and I did. I just starting be a dick and then we didn’t really hang out anymore. In our old age we have obviously matured and now I’d consider them (Alex and Ben… toss in Jared too I guess) some of my best friends. I dropped Ben off last night and he said we should hang out more. I told him that I’d call him this week and we’d hang out. He said “That’s a lie! That’s a lie! I’ll cya later”. Then I went to drop Alex off and on his way out of the car his parting words were “and give me a fuckin’ call sometime”… The message was pretty clear, I never call them to do anything ever. Senior year, we were all on good terms obviously but I just never called them. I was so involved with track and when it came down to saying, “what do I want to do tonight”, I would just text Palmisano or Gourlay or Paul or whoever and that was it. I don’t think I hung out with them one time all of senior year. Summer came and we started hanging out a bit more but still, I have been/still am just being a doucher. I don’t know why I don’t call them but I don’t. If I were them I probably would have given up on me a while ago and because of that I’m going to change. I was talking to Jeff about saying sorry and how it’s really hard to do that because you have to admit you’re wrong and what not, but in this case I think I’m definitely wrong. It’s not like I don’t want to hang out with them, I just make zero effort to do so. I don’t know why, there really isn’t any reason for it. When Ben said I was lying about calling him this week, I can’t blame him at all. I haven’t called them to hang out in forever. Summer is here and things will change.

On another note, I played guitar hero guitar 2 days ago for the first time in 4 months. Last night was my first freak-out in a really long time. I haven’t gotten that angry at a video game for a while. I was playing Thunderhorse on guitar hero 2 and was trying to get a 100 on it. I probably tried for an hour or so straight. I got -1 twice and was literally yelling at my fingers. I’d mess up at this one part over and over again and it was all my pinky’s fault. I believe the line I said was “You’ll be lucky if I don’t fuckin’ break you if you don’t hit that part next time” He hit it. I still missed on another part though. The whole experience was like torture. You can’t play one song for that long because you just start getting really bad at it. I had a broken guitar controller next to me and I started hitting it really hard. For like 10 seconds I even tried to rip the whammy bar off but I failed at that. It was just messed up. I left without getting a 100 on it and now I’m on a mission. I’m going to approach it calmly though. If I start to feel even a tiny bit angry, I’m just going to take a deep breath and play a different song or something.

That’s all for now. Work till Friday and then I think I’m going to the Union game this Saturday so that should be an experience. Also, I’ve been growing out just my beard for about 6 days now. No one has noticed yet but when you get close enough, you can tell that it’s there. I don’t know how long I’m gonna keep it going but we’ll see.

Work Work Work

It’s Monday and what does that mean? Back to work!!! I don’t think I can look at my job as “work”. I can go out any night of the week, I only work 4 hours a day, the work I do isn’t very hard, and it’s less than a mile away from my house. I also crunched the numbers on the bills I’m going to be making and it just seems unnecessary. I think I ended up spending somewhere near 700 dollars at school (including books which were around 400). I made 310 from poker so I ended up make more than I spent for leisure. Obviously I’m not going to complain about making/having money but since this is my first real job it’s just weird to me. If I do this every summer, not saying that I can because I have no idea, I’m just gonna have more money then I’ve ever had before.

Besides work life is slowly returning to normal. Palm came home so I think that’s pretty much that last of people who are still out there. Granted Matt’s leaving for the summer and Katie hasn’t come home yet, but besides that everyone’s back. I’ve been spending a lot of time with my parents lately. They’re so sick each other I figure I have to deter them from each other. I went to Lowes and Sam’s Club with my dad and did this little house project for about 2 hours with him. He enjoyed it which is what I was trying to accomplish. I enjoyed it too. Then I played Frisbee with my mom for half an hour for the 2nd day in a row. I guess when you see your son out in the backyard throwing the Frisbee by himself you just feel obligated to play. I complain that there’s nothing to do but to be honest I wouldn’t mind if the whole summer was like this. It’s just relaxing and a change from the college norm. It’s pretty stress relieving and just really laid-back. I wouldn’t mind spending my whole life like this actually, let alone the whole summer.

Just a filler post, I’ll try to have something good sometime this week. For those in the work force, let’s just take it one day at a time!

Movies Galore

I’ve never really considered myself a movie buff but lately I’ve definitely been catching up. I watched the majority of 5 different movies yesterday over 11 hours of laying on the couch. Here’s what I think about some that I’ve seen lately. Seven Pounds, already reviewed that one, not a fan. Black Hawk Down. It’s a pretty quality war movie with good action and special FX and stuff like that, definitely entertaining. Orphan… this movie must have been a joke or something. It was just really bad. Esther and Max were both really cute little girls I thought but the movie itself had a really stupid plot, a retarded twist near end, and a typical finish. Mildly entertaining, not scary, and would not watch it again. I watched The Hangover again which is pretty a funny movie but I was talking to my brother about this and I agree with him that it gets a lot of hype for being only an averagely funny movie. I’ve always said that I didn’t like the side plot with the little Asian guy. He acts too Asian for me to think that he’s funny. It’s just to over the top and I don’t really think it’s funny. I watched Blow with Jeff a couple days ago and that was a very good movie. I’ve always been a Johnny Depp fan and this did not disappoint at all. His hair threw me off a bit but either way, it’s a really good movie, great plot, based on a true story, lots of action, good side plots with the wife and Diego, all in all a very good movie. There was enough in it that I could watch it over and over again. Tonight, I watched Gran Torino and that was also a pretty good movie. It’s pretty much Clint Eastwood being a total racist asshole for about an hour, then he kind of lightens up in the last half and shows that he’s not so bad after all. It’s a little bit slow but it picks up towards the end. The ending itself was pretty odd but it made sense. If you have 2 hours to kill then this is a pretty good waste of time. All in all it was a movie worth seeing some time in my opinion. I also watched all of Bio-Dome for the hundredth time. I knew it wasn’t an actual good movie but it should be good for a few stupid laughs here in there. It was exactly that. It was actually not as funny as I thought it was going to be. If you were really hammered or high or something I guess it would be pretty funny but other than that, I don’t think so. Not Another Teen Movie was another one like that. I saw that 2 days ago and was expecting it to be more… aimed towards like college kids but it didn’t really come off like that. I’d say it was definitely funnier than Bio-Dome and but still just an average funny movie. Although it did have a ton of really good looking girls, one who was naked in every scene she was in so that’s a plus. I don’t go into funny movies expecting anything besides to laugh. Palm goes into every movie looking for stellar plot and awesome acting but you just can’t do that with every movie.

I can almost eat anything I want and I don’t feel anything from the surgery. If anyone wants 4 codeine pills, let me know. I’ve drank a ton of grape juice and apple juice and I must say, if you drink strictly grape juice for an entire day, you shit smells exactly like grape juice and is a lot darker than normal. I know that’s probably more than most people wanted to hear but try it out for yourself and tell me it doesn’t happen.

That’s all I got, see ya later.

If I Die

This will be my first 2 posts in 1 day ever which is very odd because I’ve been whining about how there’s nothing to write about.

I had a dream last night that the USA was being completely over-run and that me and a group of friends were hiding out. We got caught by 2 guys and they were taking us away to kill us. I was hiding and had a gun. I jumped out and tried to save them, I shot both of the guys but before the one died he shot me right in the right of my throat. I went down and was sure that I was going to die. Everyone crowded around me saying that I saved there lives. I was lying there and they picked me up, put me on this bus, and we started driving. There wasn’t anything that anyone could do and I sat in the back of the bus bleeding. It started to get really hard to breathe and I was getting light headed. There were people there comforting me and what not, saying all the good things I’d done and all but I just sat in the back thinking, “This isn’t supposed to happen… I’m supposed to live my life and… there’s a whole life full of stuff ahead of me…I never even considered something like this ever happening… this isn’t the way it was supposed to play out…”In my dream I survived and order was restored in the country and I lived my life. I thought that this is what was supposed to happen. It was a really crazy dream and a really weird feeling I got when I thought I wasn’t going to make it. It really got me thinking.

If I die tomorrow, what would people think or what would people say about me?  Some people would think, “That kid was always really quiet and awkward, I never really got to know him but I never really wanted to either”. Some kids would say, “That kid was a loser who played a ton of video games and never got any girls”. Some kids would think, “That kid always thought he was better than everyone else and was just a mean/angry person in general”. I can literally pick out people who would think those things. If I were those people, I would think that too probably, but to be honest, those are the people I don’t care about. I know that’s a bad thing to say but it’s true. On the other hand I think I should probably try to be nicer in general to people I don’t really know or don’t really care for just because you never know what they’re going through or what they’re capable of. If me having a conversation that I wouldn’t normally have with someone makes they’re day for one reason or another, well then I’m more than happy to. I think I’ve been better to people I don’t like or don’t care about so they wouldn’t think I was such a bad guy.

Now those are the people I don’t really care about. If I die tomorrow, I’d like to think that the people I really care about would say something different. It’s not a big deal about what anyone thinks really but more about what I’ve done or haven’t done. If I die, I wouldn’t want to not have said everything that I wanted to say. I wouldn’t want to die and still have secrets about people or things that I’ve never told anyone. I can’t think of any thing that I haven’t told at least somebody. If I die, I wouldn’t want to be on bad terms with anyone. I was talking to Jake the other night and I told that I don’t like being on bad terms with anyone for any reason. I don’t think I’m on bad terms with anyone right now so I’m cleared on that one. But in the beginning/middle of this year at school, I was really starting to dislike Adam Dicaprio (don’t worry Adam it was for like 3 days). Now I feel like I can say this because him and I are really good friends now. This would be an example, if HE died he might not have even known that I didn’t like him. I wouldn’t want to die not knowing that someone didn’t like me, and then not being able to straighten things out because I was dead. If anyone has problems with me, well I would imagine that they don’t read this blog, but if you do, tell me cause I might not even know about it.  If I die, I wouldn’t want to die with anything embarrassing to be revealed afterward so that everyone thought wow he was weird. As of right now, there’s nothing I can think of that would do that.

With all this, I wouldn’t want to say that you should live everyday like it was your last day alive, because then you’d go around telling everyone everything and robbing banks and raping people and then you’d wake up the next day and just be like… well shit. But I’d like to have it where if I die, someone, could tell everyone everything.

Now obviously, don’t let me influence you in how to live your life but I’m just saying, think about it. What have you not said to someone that you wanted to say or what have you not done that you wanted to do, etc etc. This all seems pretty cliche but I never really thought about it much. This dream really had me going. I can sit here and still think about how it felt thinking that I was going to die. There was so much that went unfulfilled and a couple things that went unsaid to certain people. Everyone’s different, some would probably want to die with secrets, but I don’t really look at it that way.

Post-op

Okay so surgery was yesterday. It was actually a really easy one compared to all the others. Nancy and I go in, sit in the waiting room for half an hour, and then he calls me in. The only bad part of this whole thing was going to be the shots of novocaine. I knew they were coming but I wasn’t sure when. He pretty much just sticks this huge needle into my gum. I was watching closely for it, preparing. I go in there, sit in the chair, and the lady gets me all ready with my little cap and what not. The guy walks in and tells me what were going to be doing. He goes behind me getting all his equipment ready and then like a sneaky bastard he comes up behind me with no warning and gives me a shot in my lower gum. I didn’t feel it at all. The next 7 shots I felt pretty intensely. I just sit there and can literally feel this needle piercing my gum, injecting the stuff, and then feel him pulling the needle out. It’s a terrible feeling and there’s nothing I can do. Then he takes his little knife and starts cutting. The lady has a suction tube that sucks out all the blood and watching the blood go through that tube was pretty surprising. There was a lot of blood and it was all coming from my mouth. The surgery took about half an hour or so and besides the shots it didn’t hurt. I felt fine afterward besides the fact that I couldn’t talk at all. I literally sounded like a retarded person. My mom and I went to Genuardi’s to get drinks and painkillers. I was really sub-conscious about talking out loud just because I sounded so ridiculous. I came home and just kind of laid down for 10  hours. I feel fine today, I could only drink stuff yesterday but today I can eat food  so this is pretty much a joke surgery. I don’t need these painkillers at all either, I guess I could sell them or something but we’ll see about that.

I opted to take off work today and tomorrow to ‘recover’. I could have gone in today but I just don’t want to.

Something that had me thinking was a conversation I had with Jeff last night. We were talking about age and how it’s so… for lack of a better word, meaningless. He said that he wished he didn’t know his birthday and had no idea how old he was. If you just never knew how old you were life would be so much better. The reason we were talking about this was because of Steve Nash. He gets a lot of crap because people say he’s too old to keep playing at such a high level. If no one knew how old he was, you would never question that until he actually started playing worse. If he still puts up 15 points and 11 assists a game, you’ll never wonder if he’s getting too old. Same thing with Haile Gebrselassie. He ran a race the other weekend and won in a “slow time”. People are saying it was slow because he’s old and couldn’t have gone faster if he wanted to, but if you didn’t know how old he was, you would just say “oh he wanted to win the race and that’s exactly what he did” and never question, “hmm maybe he’s getting to old”. I’ve tinkered with the idea of never telling my kid his birthday but I think that’d be really hard to do. You’d have to home school him because he would find out how old everyone else in his class is, but if you home schooled him, you couldn’t say “on September 11th 2001” because then he would start to question what’s 2001 and what year is it now? You’d have to get him to like 30 years old and then let him go in the real world, where he couldn’t use anyone else to find out how old he was. Maybe I’ll have a couple of normal kids and then have an extra one just to experiment with him. That’s a little cruel I guess but it’s for the good of humanity so it’s okay.

Here we go again

I have surgery tomorrow on my mouth. They’re pulling some teeth up so hopefully after this one I’ll have a full and normal smile. My top teeth look pretty good right now but the bottom is lacking. I’m missing two teeth and after this surgery they should come in. I hope this will be the last time I have to do this shit because it’s getting really really old. This is probably my 7th or so surgery and I’m just so sick of it. I get the surgery, feel like dick for the entire rest of the day, can barely sleep, and the next couple days are full of pudding, jello, salt water rinsing, and sitting around doing nothing. It’s so stupid and I have to do it time and time again because I got screwed over with genetics. If my kid has this same problem, I’ll feel awful. Hopefully I score some vicodin or something just for kicks and giggles to make the next couple days entertaining.

In other news, I talk a big game when it comes to ping-pong. Most people know this, and most people have heard me say that “if someone says they’re good, and I say I’m good too… I’ll beat them”. People always say well how do you know and I always reply that ping-pong is one of those things that everyone thinks they’re good at but almost no one actually is. I consider myself one of the few that actually are. Anyway, what do I know? I’ve only played bad people for the most part and lately I’ve only been plying Jake. Jake’s good but playing each other over and over gets old. We get used to playing one another and learn the other persons habits and all that so we were wondering how good we actually were. Jake works with some guy who is apparently really good, he told Jake about this game in a church basement that goes every Tuesday night. Jake and I drove up and weren’t really sure what to expect. We walk down and there are a lot of people. Half are your typical Asians who hold the paddle funny and the other half is a mix of everything, old, young, fat, skinny, Indian, etc.

It was about a 45 minute wait to play my first game. I played an overweight 40 year old guy and pretty much smoked him 4 games to zero. You play best of 5, up to 11, switch serves every 2, and switch sides every game. He wasn’t very good and I knew it, he wasn’t where the real games were at.

My next game was against another old overweight guy but I picked him out knowing he would probably beat me. He took me the first game pretty convincingly, 11-5. Next game was different. I got up early but he kept it up and eventually he was up 10-9, it was my serve and what do I do… I serve it into the net to lose the game. He beat me the next game 11-8 so it was another relatively close one but he got me. He was good but not unbeatable. I think with a couple more visits I should be splitting games with him in no time.

My 3rd game was against a really fat 50 year old woman who put really solid back spin on it. I couldn’t really figure her out; her spin was different than most I’d seen before. She swept me in 3 games but they were all kind of close. Again, if I played her a little more and got to know her spin better, I could definitely compete better with her.

My last game was against a skinny old Asian guy. He played like the other really good Asian guys but wasn’t nearly as aggressive and not very consistent. I beat him 3 games to 1 and felt pretty confident. There was a huge range of skill levels there and I would say that I rank probably in the middle. It was a good experience and I think I’m going to keep going back every Tuesday. It’s in Phoenixville so when I’m at school I’ll be even closer if I want to keep going. There were definitely some really good people there, out of my league, but it was nice to actually prove that I could play with these “really good” people and show that I’m not full of shit when I say I could beat someone who just plays casually.

Besides that, life has been slow like usual. Surgery tomorrow will make things even slower. I’m pretty much going to sit and play guitar/guitar hero. After really thinking about it, I’m sorry to say but this blog will slow down. I’m not going to force posts and not enough happens around here to keep it going. Instead of every day or every other day like I was doing before, it will be more like two or three times a week.

Workin Hard

I’ve made $250 in 4 days which is pretty much an all time high for me. I worked the suburbans track meet for 75 bucks and worked for 12 hours to make 144 bucks. Making money is weird. I’ve worked with my dad before but never more than once a week or so. Now that I’m going to work pretty much every day for a few hours and make a decent amount of money, I don’t know what to do with it. I just keep thinking that I should go out and spend like, half of the money I made that day on stupid stuff just to entertain myself. That’s obviously an awful idea but having a consistent rate of income is a very different feeling than anything I’ve had with money before. I’m definitely buying a guitar which will set me back a couple hundred but besides that I really don’t have anything I’m 100% going to buy. I guess it would be good to save up some money and just put it in the bank account for later. That’s probably what I’ll do. I guess it’s a good thing to have money and not know what to do with it instead of the other way around.

So I’d seen this video a long while ago but Abud showed it to me again a couple weeks ago and I’m still amazed. This guy is like, the epitome of what I want to become. You get really really good at something totally useless and most people just tell you it’s stupid and refuse to acknowledge it as cool, but then you get your breakthrough and you get to show everyone what you can do, and it’s amazing. This guy is the man in my book… The internet in my house is terrible so I’m just going to post the link and you can see for yourself. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8f8drk5Urw

Something I’ve never really understood/have ever really done is lying. Obviously I’ve done my fair share of lying but just little things that don’t matter. I don’t know if it’s how I was brought up or just genetics or what, but something about me makes it really hard for me to lie about meaningful things. Doing bad things in general have never really been my thing. I always follow the rules, try to be as honest as possible when it comes to getting in trouble and whatnot, my conscience just kills me. I’m not tootin’ my own horn here people, I’m just saying, because I lived with Satchel, Rob, Mike, and Adam for most of the year, I realized how many people just break the rules and don’t care/nothing happens to them. I know that I can skip class and nothing will happen, but I don’t do it. If I got in trouble with Mike and Satch for the piss on the door thing, I wouldn’t have even considered lying to the guy about it. When I forgot my wallet at the diner, even though I was under the influence of alcohol, I still would never try to walk out of there without paying. In the short-term, this seems like a bad thing. It costs me time, money, and coolness, but I’ve just always been a firm believer in doing the right thing. I’ve said I’d take justice over friendship more than most. If my friend does something stupid and wants me to vouch for him, I’m not going to do it. Hypothetically, someone is cutting the runs. When coach  asks the guy have you been doin’ the runs? and he says yes, then the coach comes to me and says “has this guy been doing the runs?” I’m going to say no, he hasn’t been. People can’t expect me to lie for them because I’m their friend, I’m not risking my credit or honorability (not a word) because you think I’m your buddy and will lie to get you out of some bullshit situation. If you disagree with me well then, I don’t know what to tell you but that’s something I’ve always believed in.

The Flyers are doing really well and just made history with there 0-3 comeback and I’ll be the first to tell you that I’m a complete bandwagon fan. It’s been years since I’ve watched a Flyers game but I’ve been watching them lately. It’s pretty exciting and I don’t think hockey is as bad as I thought it was, although I still can’t see myself watching a regular season Flyers game and getting into it. I’ll watch the playoffs and if they win the Stanley Cup then that’s pretty cool but I almost feel guilty taking any pride in it because I literally never watch them.

I’ve been struggling to update this blog and the results have shown. I haven’t done anything very cool since I’ve been home so it’s really tough to keep this thing going. The internet also sucks so it takes forever to do it and I keep saying I’ll do it later then the next thing I know, 2 days have gone by and I haven’t done anything. I really don’t like posting it as my facebook status unless it’s been a really long time since I have or I think I have a really good post. I’ll

Run

Run – verb – to go quickly by moving the legs more rapidly than at a walk and in such a manner that for an instant in each step all or both feet are off the ground. Not one word has made more of a difference in my life that one word. Run. It seems like such a simple concept and action that it couldn’t possibly have such an impact on someones life but it certainly has. Running is present in my life 100% of the time. My days circulate around when I’m going to run and when I’m not running, I think about running. If you haven’t caught on yet, this is the running blog that I’ve been waiting to write. I’m anticipating now that no post will take longer to write or have more words in it than this one… but I’ll probably enjoy writing this post more than any other. Lets start from the beginning.

Tom, my oldest brother, ran track throughout high school. I don’t have any specific memories of him running but this is where it all started. Jeff also ran. This is where I really got interested in running. I would go to Jeff’s races every now and then and just watching people race and all that made me want to run. In 7th grade I joined the track team and sucked immediately. I was one of the worst guys on the team. The only specific memory I have of 7th grade is one time we were doing a long run and I was falling off hardcore. I saw Derrick Cruice and Chris Melton cut the run. I was furious, who the hell did they think they were? I got back probably 6 minutes after they did on a 3 mile run. It was humiliating. I didn’t really have the drive yet though. 8th grade came along and in November there was the turkey trot, a 1 mile run that all the kids did. My goal was to break 7 minutes in the mile and I finished up in 6:48, I went nuts. It was the first time I had set a goal and then reached that goal. 8th track season came around and it didn’t go so hot. Dana Lockard (yes a girl) and I had a huge rivalry and I didn’t beat her once in the mile. The whole season we talked about who would break 6 minutes in the mile first, she ran 5:58 and I ran 6:07 as our best times of the season.

8th grade was a bummer but I still didn’t care enough. I didn’t train over the summer going into freshman  year and I got my ass kicked when cross country started. Running anything more than 3 miles for a long run was totally insane. Gourlay and I had a bit of a rivalry, if you could call it that, but he beat me every time except for one. I finished Freshman year XC with a 19:0x pr. Freshman year track was more of the same. I was the worst distance runner on the team and it wasn’t that fun. I finished with an 11:28 2mile pr and a 5:19 mile pr. After finishing last in every workout and just getting owned constantly, I decided I wasn’t going to just take it anymore.

Summer going into Sophomore year was where I actually started to train. I ran a lot over the summer and actually came into camp as the top sophomore behind Lorenzo. I’ll never forget the workout that Giammarco ran with the JV guys and Palmisano couldn’t keep up, I was literally the only guy left running with G. My head grew so big after that, it probably wasn’t a good thing. Palmisano, and everyone else beat me almost every time. I think I beat Gourlay 3 times but that was it. I was still bottom of the food chain. Finished Sophomore XC with an 18:02 race at Carlisle which was a great race for me. Sophomore track was a milestone year. I broke 5 minutes in the mile. It was a home duel meet and I was doubling the mile and the 8. I’d been talking about breaking 5 the entire year, Cruice and Lorenzo said I wouldn’t be able to do it. I don’t remember the race but I finished up 4:58 and it was so cool. I ran the 800 an hour later or so and pr’d in that too, 2:217. It was an awesome day. I ran the 2mile at conferences and pr’d in that to end the season at 10:35. I went out in 5:10ish and kind of died but still I was happy with it. It was a good way to end the season.

Summer going into junior year was pretty standard. Lots of running. There was a big question as to who would be the 7th man for XC. It boiled down to me and Gourlay. I was 7th for the beginning, my first varsity race ever was Carlisle and I ran really well there. I beat Mariotz and ended up being the 6th man that day. I continued to beat Gourlay most of the season but at Tennet when the Reilly’s weren’t there, people had to “step up” according to Grift. Well Gourlay stepped up and out kicked me in the last 100 meters. It was a bad race. I still ran varsity at districts but that didn’t go that well either. Gourlay’s time in the JV race was 10 or so seconds faster than my 17:16. The team qualified for states and it had to be decided who was going to run. I will never forget the conversation we had with Grift the night before. Gourlay and I walked into his hotel room, and Grift says, “so who want’s to run?”. We said, “Well… we both do”. Grift replies, “Well who wants to run more”. There was a small silence, and then Gourlay goes, “Well Sam probably does…”. Grift said, “Well then Sam’s gonna run”. Then he got kind of angry at Gourlay and kept saying well why does Sam want to run more. I ran at states and the race itself wasn’t great but it was still an awesome experience.

After cross I was pretty confident. I opened up winter track with a 9:51 and anchored a DMR in 4:55, taking us from 5th place (a medal) to 6th place (not a medal). Those were my two races for the rest of my junior year. I started taking Acutane and it pretty much ended my Junior year. I started running really slow and was barely finishing warm-ups. It was really really annoying. I had no idea what was happening but I was getting slower and slower and there was nothing I could do about it. The 9:51 and 4:55 stayed my PR’s for the season. I got off the pills with one race left in the season, conferences. I ran the two mile and literally PR’d by .3 seconds. It was a brutal race but I guess I ended the season on somewhat of a high note.

Summer of senior year was again, more of the same, a shit load of miles. Senior year cross was pretty up and down. Pat Reilly was my next target and I actually did beat him a couple of races. Carlisle was my best race where I out-kicked Lorenzo too to finish 3rd on the team. The worst part was probably when Grift asked me if I fell during Paul Short because I was so far back after a mile. I PR’d by 23 seconds that day so fuck him. It was a solid year but when it came to states, everyone choked. Palmisano ended up in the hospital, Paul and Lorezno both ran okay, Pat ran probably the best out of all of us, and I ran bad too. I got so stuck behind people and was literally cursing during the race. I ended the season with a 16:26 pr.

Senior year indoor track was my first actual “breakout race”. I got lucky and auto-qualified for meet of champs in my first 3k with a 9:36 and won by about 10 seconds. It took some pressure off and I didn’t put up any good times really until meet of champs. I went into that race with a 9:24 PR in the 3k. In my head, I didn’t actually think I could run a 9:03 and qualify for states, but I had nothing left to shoot for. I went out in 4:52, closed my last lap in a 33, and finished in 9:05. It was and still is the best race of my life. I was so disappointed though because I missed states by 2 seconds. I literally sat on the infield for 15 minutes just sitting there thinking about how much it sucked. Outdoor track came and went pretty quickly. I had my fair share of duel meet victories running random 2 miles and miles where I’d close the last 800 in 2:15 or something retarded like that. It was all in hopes, again, to make it to states. I ran a 9:43 to open the season and states was 9:30. I was very confident. At suburbans I doubled in the mile and 2 mile. Mile was first and I got 6th in a 4:33 feeling shitty. 2 mile was a couple hours later and I still felt shitty. Lorenzo and I lead through the mile in like 5:02 and then Palm and I finished up in 9:58. He let me have the win because it was his fourth race of the day so thank you very much. I went in to districts and didn’t really know what to expect, I went out in 4:46 which was on pace but died and finished in 9:42. Again, I was extremely, extremely disappointed. I wasn’t even very close. It was a real bad way to end the season but whatever.

Summer going into my first year of college was probably the most running I’d done in a summer. I followed Bayless’ training schedule exactly. 8k was very different, Jeremy and I duked it out the whole season pretty much, except for the fact that I only beat him once… Indoor track blew, I ran a 4:43 for my best mile to anchor a 7th place (should have 6th but I blew it) DMR and ran a 9:24 3k, granted I was sick for my last one but still. Outdoor was kind of the same. I pr’d in the 5k which was good in 16:16 but that was really it. No other good races.

That was pretty much the summary, I haven’t really talked about anything though and why I actually like running. For one, I didn’t even realize this until recently, but running keeps you in good shape. I look forward to going on runs. I can’t wait to get out there, it just feels good or right or something. Don’t get me wrong, I have my awful days, and my I don’t really want to do this days, but those are the days that, if you can get through them, you’ll get a lot better. I hated waking up at 5:30 before school in the winter to go on a 3 mile run, there was nothing enjoyable about that. But the feeling you get when you finish a good workout, or have a great race, all of that stuff, that’s the best. That generally doesn’t cut it when people say “why do you run”. I’ve seen 2 quotes that explain “why” pretty well. Pre has one that says “You have to wonder at times what you’re doing out there. Over the years, I’ve given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement.” I think that’s pretty good. You have to want to get better, if you’re not willing to work for it, then you might as well quit. I don’t see a point of doing track just to do it. I want to see how fast I can possibly run. If I win a race or earn a medal along the way, then so be it, but I’m out there to run a fast fucking time (for me). Another quote is from someone I can’t remember and I don’t the know the actual quote but it goes something like this, “I don’t care about breaking records, or winning races, or  whether you think I’m the fastest man in the world or a total loser, as far as I’m concerned it’s about me.” I agree, I don’t really care if someone thinks I train to hard or not enough or what, but as long as I’m happy with what I’m doing, then that’s all that matters. I plan on running for a long time because it’s what I want to do. I love it. All the shit that I’ve gone through with it has definitely made me part of who I am today. It builds discipline and patience and all that good stuff. I might not ever be as fast as I want to be, but as long as I know that I ran as fast as I COULD have, that’s good enough for me.

Great/Not so Great

I woke up at 11:30 today to get ready for my big day. My mom asked me last night if I got my clothing ready for tomorrow and I lied and said yes, figuring that it wouldn’t be a big deal and that I could get ready at 10 minutes. It was 1:10 so I figured I should get ready. I showered and by 1:20 was picking out my clothing. Clothing was a disaster. I had no idea how to dress but I figured that I’d at least have enough clothing to choose from. I had about 1 polo, 2 pair’s of jeans, and no shoes or socks. I chucked on an old pair of jeans and a wrinkly polo. I stroll in there, introduce myself to about 20 people, make eye contact all over the place, dishin’ out firm handshakes like candy, it was beautiful. I got set up and I cannot wait to keep this job going. I pick my hours, literally whenever I want to go in I can. If I’m feeling good and wake up at 9 in the morning and figure I should go into work, I can. If I drank the night before and wanna sleep in, I can go in at 1:30 and get some extra sleep. It’s amazing.

Anyway, things have been really slow at home. There’s just nothing to do around here. I can see myself going bowling every Sunday night but besides that there’s just not that much to do. If I drink once a week which is a lot, then there’s 2 nights down. Say I wanna go to bed early 2 nights a week because I’m tired, then there’s 3 nights left that I have absolutely nothing to do. That can’t happen. I need something to do. I guess I’ll give it another week or so and if nothing comes up, I’m shit out of luck.

That’s about all I got right now. Still kind of settling in at home. I hope some cool things happen that I can write about because if summer stays this way the whole time I’m going to be struggling to get some good posts. I’ll allow my self one or two bad ones but anymore like this and I’m in trouble.