Monday, October 1, 2007

What is it about me?

Midway through my senior year track season, we had a meet against a couple of teams in our conference. Neither team had any good distance runners. I was scheduled to run the two-mile, a leg of the 4 x 800, and then the mile. It was my standard workload during my senior year and it usually left me with 3 blue ribbons. My coach called ma aside before the race. He told me he wanted to see me go out hard the first mile and then coast through the second mile. My teammates were accustomed to seeing me in the lead during these conference races and most invitationals. They were not aware of the instructions from my coach. When I went through the first mile at 4:31, they all started getting excited. I was still holding my pace as I came around the straight away on my 5th lap. My teammates were in a line forming a gauntlet and began chanting, "Andy!, Andy!, Andy!" I felt a sudden rash of embarrassment and shook my head, hoping my teammates would stop. I came through lap five in 5:37 and could still hear the chants of my teammates as I went around the first turn. I began to slow down on the back stretch and as I came around the far turn I saw my teammates formed in a line and the chanting was still going strong. I slowed to a jog and looked at them and told them to knocked it off. When I went went trough lap six the timers called out, " 7:06, 7:07, 7:08". My teammates dispersed and I began picking up my pace again midway down the backstretch when I could see they no longer formed their gauntlet and the chanting had died down, when the the gun went off as I went into my final lap, I could hear "8:29, 8:30, 8:31." My final lap was fast, but I didn't kick and I finished my race in 9:35 with my final mile slower than 5:00 minutes.

I don't know why, but I've never liked bringing attention to myself. I have always been competitive, but I'm always embarrassed by seeking approval from others. So, when I later went on to play in bands, my least favorite part was trying to sell the bands I was in. I could not stand telling people to pay attention to us, because we were good. I just wanted to play and let people form their own opinions as I had fun playing my guitar and singing my songs.

I think I feel the same about writing. It is not that I am humble or modest. I can actually come across as quite arrogant and I don't tolerate mediocrity very well. But, what I most hate are the self-promoters. I have always been sickened by the salesperson mentality and thats what you see in blogs the most. Especially, as time goes on and more and more people join the information age and chime in on any number of subjects while attracting donations and sponsors to their site. Its this that makes me queasy. Obviously, I am not in the market or doing this to attract visitors to my site. But, whenever anything is done these days it is impossible to judge the worth of how we spend our time without considering costs and potential revenues. Worth for anything that we do with our time is judged almost strictly in monetary terms even when we pursue our hobbies and interests, because "time is money" as they say.

That's why I haven't posted in over a month and explains my previous post. Let's see if this post gathers any momentum.


Richard Loggins said...

Andy! Andy! Andy! Gettin' it done, baby, gettin' it done!

Andy B said...

Knock it off!