The dream, the goal, the book review

I had a dream last night. Several things jump out at me. First, I not only had a dream, I remembered the dream. Second, the dream was very much related to things going on in my mind and in my life.

That almost never happens.

So let me tell you about the dream. It’s a great story. And I’m not making up the dream to prove a point. Just one of the weirdnesses of being me.

I was running. I don’t think I’ve ever had a dream about running, but there I was. Running. Not just running. I was in a race. There were people on the street cheering. And this is where it gets weird. There was no one in front of me. I wasn’t in my usual spot in the middle of the pack. I was in front. Then it gets even weirder. Adam Goucher and Tim Catalano were running on either side of me.

I went to high school with Adam Goucher. In my previous posts I’ve mentioned high school cross country. We were on the “same” team. I use quotes there for a reason. Adam ran varsity, set state records, won national championships, and was the top recruited high school senior. I was the fat guy trying real hard not to finish last. We had the same uniform, the same coach, and often the same course, but we were running two very different races. To put things in perspective, I think Adam’s fastest 3.1 mile (5k) race that year was finished in about the same time I finished the first mile of my first training run. Adam at least acts like he remembered me when I saw him at the finish of the Bolder Boulder this past spring. But he’s an honorable dude like that.

I met Tim for about 45 seconds at the Bolder Boulder. He doesn’t remember me, and that’s OK. I was just one of many faces he saw that day. Honestly, I’m shocked that he was in the dream.

If you don’t know the names, Tim and Adam are kind of a big deal. Adam did some olympic caliber running. Tim and Adam were on the same cross country team at University of Colorado. They wrote a book together, have a blog, and are really making waves in the running world. But we’ll get to that.

So there we are running. Me, Adam, and Tim, shoulder to shoulder. Adam and Tim peel off to sigh autographs, you know, because they’re all famous. And I just keep running and they catch up to me, you know, because they are the “real” runners. And we’re just going. At the finish line I start to kick hard. Adam and Tim kick with me, then suddenly peel off to sign autographs allowing me to finish first. (Eat that fame!)

And then it gets really weird. We’re at the post-race party. It’s at a bar. A nice place. Well, newer anyway. And there are beers. And I’m speaking with a waitress. And we’re talking about beers. And I see something behind the bar. Someone is disconnecting the keg. And that keg. And that cask of wine.

THE WAIT STAFF IS STEALING THE BOOZE!

But it’s not a big deal. I have my drink. And the waitress pours me another before she disconnects the last keg. And I keep quiet as I watch them roll the barrels out the side door. As the last cask of wine (real wood casks dude. Must have been good stuff.) gets rolled to the door my alarm goes off and I wake up.

And I smile.

I was an accomplice of sorts in a great booze heist. And I ran a race with Adam and Tim. And I finished first.

And oddly enough, I wasn’t surprised by any of this. Well, I was a little shocked at the booze heist. But it was a dream and dreams are weird.

I finished reading Adam and Tim’s book a couple days ago. Like most good ideas, it needs to rattle around in my brain for a bit before I convince myself it’s a good idea. The book is “Run the Edge” available at their blog http://www.runtheedge.com/, amazon (With kindle version), and probably a few other places.

The book is sort of a self-help for runners book. It’s also a good insight to some of the things that can make and break a career. Any career, really, as long as you are willing to make the connections. I tend to read a lot of self-help type books, and I tend to turn a lot of books into self-help type books. I should probably apologize to Edward Abby and Jack Kerouac for that at some point.

This one is different. Most the self help books are all focused on one area – money, food, weight loss, jobs, whatever. At first blush Run The Edge sits kind of the same way. But then you get into and realize this book is about two guys doing something that I’ve been trying to do for a long time: Translate lessons learned in sports into lessons learned in real life in a language that anyone can understand.

And the lives of these two guys are full of lessons. That part hits you somewhere in the first chapter. And the lessons keep coming through the various stages of careers, life, and just challenging friends to try new things. Sure, runners and other athletes will get into the book more than others. But I think people without that background will be able to appreciate the book and the lessons.

While all books of this nature are a call for action, Run The Edge is a call for action RIGHT NOW. The authors suggest reading the book with a notebook and pencil by your side and provide exercises to better engage the reader and to drive examples home. I am guilty that I did not participate fully. I intend to read the book a second time and do all the exercises in the right order. But I got to a point where I just really wanted to see where the book was heading.

If you are familiar with other books of this nature, you will be familiar with the concept of goals. Well, it should be no surprise that a couple of top athletes believe in the power of goals as well. Part of goals is telling people about the goals. I’m still working on the details. The remaining issue is timing. I know I’m going to need a good set of running shoes, a timed race, and the details of my fastest outing in high school. 19 years after graduation, I’m thinking I just might be able to run 5k faster now than I did then. As long as I set attainable goals, and allow myself to Run The Edge. My first step is to get back to being actively involved in managing my weight and nutrition. I will continue to run. I will get a training program and I will follow it. I will pick several races to help gauge my improvement. I will pick a final race where I will lay it all on the line.

And most importantly, I will do all of this without having a negative impact on the other important aspects of my life.

And if Adam and Tim feel like joining me for a little run, I’ll make sure to get beverages from the wait staff before they all get stolen.

Until next time, don’t let the fat man catch you!

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