#44 On The 44th Thinking About #44

My favorite football memory of all-time is of my favorite football player of all-time running and running and running in Super Bowl XVII.

I’m talking about John Riggins and his amazing performance against the Miami Dolphins that day.

In that game, John Riggins carried the ball 38 times for 166 yards, and one touchdown. That touchdown came on his famous fourth down run where he broke through the defense and ran 43 yards for the score. It’s my favorite football moment of all time.

One day I’d like to meet John Riggins and thank him for that memory. I replay that game in my mind often. Never have I enjoyed such happiness watching a football game.

John Riggins wore uniform #44

***

Today is the 44th day of the year.

I decided to do something crazy this year. I am going to run every single day this year. So far I have. 44 days on the calendar and 44 days running.

Today I ran a strong seven miles on my treadmill.

I am running better and faster than I have in many years. I am finally feeling strong as a runner after being injured for years. (I had surgery to repair tears in my Achilles two years ago.)

Thus far this year, I’ve logged 171 miles. I’m averaging 3.88 miles a day, which is great, especially for a person who hasn’t taken a day off.

Over the last week, I ran my fastest 5-miler since 2016 (42:58), my fastest 4-miler since 2016 (33:35), and today I completed my fastest 7-miler (66:42), yes, since 2016.

When the New York City Marathon rolls around in November, I plan to break four-hours.

I haven’t broken four-hours in a marathon (in any marathon, not just New York) since…

2009.

Yeah, it’s been a long long time.

***

I tried running every day for a year once before, while batting the Achilles tears. That was in 2018, but my heart wasn’t into it and I ran scared.

I made it to 53 days that time. But, over those 53 days, I totaled only 101 miles. Most of the runs were short. I was doing one mile on most days just to get the day in to count it. I wasn’t cheating, but I was looking for the easy way through it.

The easy way is never the right way.

Never.

This time though, my shortest runs are two miles and there haven’t been many of them. I’m pushing hard to recapture the strength and agility I had when I was younger. I’m 53-years-old and getting to the point where most people are slowing down.

I don’t intend to slow down.

I intend to get faster.

And faster.

I also intend to get stronger.

And stronger.

***

Two years ago, I wondered if I’d recover well enough from the surgery to run well again.

I’m not wondering any longer.

We can do more than we think we can. Always.

It’s all about the effort, the focus, and the willingness to cross boundaries.

Boundaries are like myths, they aren’t real, but sometimes we act as if they are.

Shatter the myths.

Push yourself.

Strive for the glory of high achievement.

Always.

Just as John Riggins did on that wonderful Sunday so many years ago…

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