Thursday, August 31, 2006

What I learned this summer...

I was running today (BIG SURPRISE) and I was reminiscing about the days of my youth, as we looked toward September with promise and wonder... what was that NEXT grade going to look like?

3rd Grade... I'm a BIG kid now!

6th Grade... B.K.O.C.

7th Grade... Junior High,


9th Grade... High School Freshman!

SENIOR YEAR... will I actually graduate??? LOL

One of the things I
remember is the "What I learned this summer" essay most English teachers made you write. I don't remember particularly liking English class, or even that essay, but since I had such an unusual summer, I felt compelled to remember it today...


*I learned that my body follows my mind, if I BELIEVE I can, I can
*I learned that I LOVE Peanut Butter & Jelly on WONDER BREAD and CHOCOLAT
E MILK maybe even mor e today than in elementary school
*I learned that the people in my life respond to extraordinary challenges, and as long
as I keep taking them on myself, I shall inspire others to do the same
*I learned that I am in love with the woman of my dreams, she loves me, and our adventure together winds wildly down an adventurous trail that has me more and more excited to be with her every day, sometimes, even the tough days
*I learned I am a quick healer (maybe by necessity)
*I learned soaking running shirts in bleach and NOT full
y rinsing them clean leads to a very interesting problem... sweat turning to bleach causing scorched skin blistering and hives... OUCH
*I learned that when you duck to avoid one big tree branch, look UP first to see if there is another behind it... OUCH
*I learned that in the Santa Monica & San Gabriel Mountains, I am a guest of rattlesnakes, black bears, mountain lions and other somewhat dangerous creatures, and that at least in the case of ONE black bear and TWO rattlesnakes, they are more afraid of me than I am of them (and I AM AFRAID... LOL), and I learned that I sho uld remember that I am a guest in their home, not the other way around... now THAT would be really scary
learned that I have a whole community (actually multiple communities) full of dream-chasers and inspiring, extraordinary people who passionately PUSH ME to be the best I can be in every area of my life
*I learned that there is NO shortage of HELP out there if you aren't afraid to ask for it
*I learned I can both be an arrogant asshole and a humble servant and that finding a balance between the two (closer to humble servant) is one of my ongoing lifelong goals and challenges
*I learned (yet again) that I have the most amazing family. My sisters (Sarah & Mary) are two of my best friends, my brothers-in-law LOVE and take care of these two important women and I LOVE my three nieces!!!

My dad and my mom are amazing, they don't feel the same way about each other, but they do ALL they can to support us three. I love my baby-bro Daniel, he's already a TEEN-AGER and an amazing athlete. My mom's boyfriend Clay rules and my step-mom Denise is amazing. Blessed, am I. And that's just my immediate family, my extended family is a CAST of characters up to adventures and greatness

*I learned that both phy sical and emotional wounds heal with time, and a courageous spirit can get you through pretty much anything
*I learned (over and over) that I love seeing people succeed. I do not begrudge ANYONE success, unless their success is earned by diminishing others (even that has its price, and the karmic reaper will come to collect his debts sooner or later)
*I learned that most of the people in my life who barely know me think I'm a manic, somewhat psychotic, running-nutcase. Hyper-caffeinated and obnoxious (they are right)
*I learned that most of the people on my "inner-circle" who know me well think I'm crazy, reckless, lovable, demanding, forgetful, and hard to keep still (they are also right)
*I learned that I can fully accept and claim responsibility for who I have become, and for who I still strive to be. I learned that I love who that person is. I look in the mirror and smile... what adventures shall I unearth tomorrow???
*I learned that achieving high school weight is a LOT more fun SUFFERING through running and training for ultra-endurance than it is suffering through some stupid

fad-diet (or other eating disorder). Okay, I don't know that FOR SURE, as I never got to my HS weight through not eating or an eating disorder, but I IMAGINE that is the case
*I learned that excessive PIZZA-consumption prior to nearly 16-miles of downhill running, prior to 26-miles of running over 2-m
ountains, is NOT a great strategy for ME for a settled s tomach... but I also learned that had I to do it over again, I'd still eat the pizza
*I learned that some can handle my forgetful nature, and others are really turned off by it. The latter makes me sad, and I strive to be more organized everyday!!! (see, I'm making a list HERE so I don't FORGET!!!)
*I learned that I love nearly ALL runners and endurance athletes, but ESPECIALLY those who RUN. In fact, I can ONLY think of one "so-called" runner who's energy and persona I can do without
*I learned that gossip is SO poisonous, and LISTENING to it is worse than doing the gossiping yourself, you enable the poison and have the gossiper believe it's okay
*I learned that we have some beautiful, surreal nature-scape around the City of Angels. Both the Santa Monica Mountains & San Gabriel Mountains are breathtaking
*I learned that I know NOTHING in the grand scheme of things
*I learned (again) that I talk too much, and listen too little
*I learned (through reading someone's MySpace profile) that there are TWO distinct types of people who will HATE me in my lifetime... people who are envious and people who are just stupid. The stupid people might like me somewhere down the road as they aren't committed to anything really, and the envious will always envy, they have to live with that poison everyday... just let it go and BE yourself
*I learned that 120 miles per week is not only doable, but if you keep your focus on REST (seems oxymoronic), you will achieve NEW fitness heights by listening to your body... this ultimately led to new Personal Bests / Records in the 1500-meters (metric mile) and Half Marathon (minus another 3:30!)... next, a 100-mile trail race, assuming I finish (I would NEVER assume this), a new personal best in distance and time continuously running
*I learned I have a lot to offer both those I love (family, friends, runners and walkers) and those I do not know (if they are open to it)
*I learned that training for a 100-mile trail race and filming a documentary about it is maybe the biggest undertaking I've ever taken on, and that for my next trick... well, WHO KNOWS what's next anyway!?!?!?
*I learned that the more I run, the more nature I see, the more spiritual I become...
*I learned (again) that I LOVE my life

~Jimmy Dean Freeman
August 31st, 2006

- 100-miles-in-one-day, the Angeles Crest 100-Mile Application


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