No big deal, I've done this what, two or three hundred times before, right?
It's definitely different this time. Not often do I stand on the edge of something that elicits so many questions, so much self-doubt, so much internal dialog. Tomorrow's 50 miler, though, has done just this to me.
Throughout the week, I've sat down and tried to put these feelings into words. I've failed with every attempt. My thoughts have been so incredibly scattered. There has only been one theme present with each attempt.
I'm surrounded by friends who have run 50, 62, even 100 miles and run those distances fast. I'm hesitant to even share my trepidation over my first attempt at an "ultra" distance for fear of reprisal from said buddies. I realize that's somewhat absurd, but at the same time, their presence helps. They force me to believe it's not just attainable, but expected. They force me to find ways to squelch my self-doubt. I'm not even permitted to wonder whether or not I'll finish tomorrow's race. They won't be impressed.
The school where I teach is somewhat ridiculous. It is an extremely affluent demographic, and the median kid has parents that expect him to be a high achiever. Cale goes to this school, and he doesn't know any better to than to think that's just what kids do - they study, they do their homework, and they care about their learning.
I choose to surround myself with people who reflect the values, morals, and ideals I wish to portray. I seek out those who share my goals, dreams, and passions. To those who have inspired me to take a crack at this race tomorrow - thank you. Your presence in my life is valued to an extent you will never know.