Monday, February 26, 2007

Accepting the things one cannot change...

Wrestling with my hair today, I found something new about myself.

I thought at first it was a trick of the light, but I found a very very light hair on the side of my head. To test, I pulled it out and matched it up to different things in the house that were white. It was not quite as white as the sink, but certainly when you put it up against a navy shirt, it was definitely light and not very red at all.

There are really two different conclusions I could make -- 1) that I am turning blonde or have always had a very blonde hair on the side of my head or 2) that hair was decidedly white. I've had 30 years of inspecting my head (granted, I'm not much of a detail person), so I'm assuming that it was, perhaps, a grey-ish hair.

Yikes. "Grey hair is for old people" was my first thought (Sorry, old people :)). Then I thought, "Well...and for Taylor Hicks (my age) and even my sister (who is not an old person either)". Even if it was a grey hair, it's not like everyone else in the whole world for generations hasn't gone through this too, right?

I've been reading a lot about mental attitudes preparing for the marathon. One of the biggest things to remember when running a big race is separating those factors you have influence on (your training, your nutrition) and those you can't (the weather).

So, I chose to put this grey hair stuff into the mental bucket of "things I cannot change", acknowledged it, and tried to leave it at that...

..which lasted for five minutes. Apparently, I require something I can control to worry about to replace the grey hair worry-- this is probably why I have many hobbies. No, I'm not saying that it's a healthy reaction, but I'm being honest here.

So, the second thing I did was take a real good look in the mirror, and thought about what I do control, and what I can do something about next.

The fact is, for a newly old person, I am doing great. Hey, I'm functionally sound -- no broken bones, no permanent injuries to really complain about. In fact, with the marathoning and skiing, I am actually in better shape and fitness than I was at 17.

So, I'm going to focus my energy on two things. They are physical and a bit vain, but of course, so is worrying about grey hair:
1) I'm going to beat my Marathon PR, which is 4:18:44 (Columbus, age 26), at Boston in April.
2) I'm going to lose those last five pounds where it will facilitate that Marathon PR and not hurt it. If my calculations are correct, this requires a reduction of 3% body fat (not muscle), which is realistic, keeps me in a healthy BMI, and shouldn't interfere with goal #1.

Wish me luck :) I'll also work on getting used to the grey hair and her friends.

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