Lane 8 is the worst lane in Track & Field. Fast runners are put in the middle lanes and slower runners are assigned the outer lanes. The slowest competitor is always assigned Lane 8.
And in the 400 meters, which I compete in, you stay in your lane the entire race. The way the starting lines are staggered, makes it look like Lane 8 is way out in front, when in fact, it’s the exact same distance as the others.
So many consider lane 8 the worst lane because you cannot see any of the other competitors, until they pass you.
My goal is to be in Lane 8, the worst lane. And I also don’t care if I come in last. Seriously.
Our son (9) says, “Dad, you want the worst lane and you don’t care if you come in last?”
(Pause for effect, and read each of the next three sentences with decent pauses in between)
“That’s right, son, Lane 8. In the finals. At the World Championships.”
I continued the answer for our son, “You can come in last and still be the eighth best in the entire world.”
I then shared the moral of the story with our son:
“You can go through life and set the bar low, reach it, but then live with the regret of wondering what you could have done if you tried harder. Or, you can set the bar ridiculously high, fail, and yet live with peace because you know in your heart you did your very best.”
Last night I could barely walk. Foot pain. Left heel. Why? Not sure.
Some of you know I represented the United States at the 2009 Masters Track & Field World Championships in Lahti, Finland. The first week of August seems like so long ago, when in fact, it wasn’t. Since then, I’ve completely tapered off on training. Completely.
So why the pain?
What is amazing to me, and something I tried to hide in the Lane 8 blog posts before traveling to Finland, is that I was actually able to compete at all.
“Then why put yourself through all this”?, is a common question. Roger Bannister, the first human to break the four-minute mile barrier, said it best:
“I sometimes think that running has given me a glimpse of the greatest freedom a man can ever know, because it results in the simultaneous liberation of both the mind and body….. The runner does not know how or why he runs. He only knows that he must run….. We run, not because it is doing us good, but because we enjoy it and cannot help ourselves”. — Roger Bannister 1956