THIRD INGREDIENT

As everything must always, gentleman farming brings many comparisons to running.

The temperatures have been relatively cooperative, I managed to dodge two frosts last weekend thanks to preemptive covering, should be clear sailing here on in.  Abundant sunshine bathing the chlorophyll, CO2 from our Good Mother, and Viola! Photosynthesis.

All for naught without water.  The daily liquid refresher transported from hose bib to garden via old but not rusty steel pails.  Trip after trip after trip, three hours every morning.  Because I want to do it this way, the hard way.  The connection I’m developing mirroring my dedication to running.  No easy way outs.  No pharmaceutical or genetically modified enhancements.  Only water, that third critical component for Life and Health, and Honest Labor by My Own two hands.  I almost titled today’s column Water Boy.  Then I considered Water Guns because my formerly withered biceps now more closely resemble Jason Zakaras’ instead of Olive Oil.

Here’s today’s rub.  Running has a Third Ingredient.  Looking back over 30+ years in this sport I have seen The Obvious.  Talent is most coaches’ first but stubbornly remains second on my own personal list.  Potential is at the top of mine and second on most other lists.  Yes, I’ve seen a ton of Talent.  And more Potential.   I’ve seen both realized but most often pissed away.  Shame that.  The Third Ingredient for running, the water if you will-especially for Real Racing- is Hard Work.  Sad are the names of those Blessed with raw talent that are too lazy or too hard headed to do anything with it.  Disappointed is the roll call of those whose potential lay untapped for want of effort.

I was at the All City Track Meet last week, my first venture to Burke Stadium since directing the 2012 USA Club National Championships.  The Girl’s Mile was a hell of a race with me picking the top 2 in the first 200 meters (no where near the front).  I told Linda those two possessed the Right Stuff.  My Wild Card selection was chosen after the race.  Not the girl that finished third, or fourth, or fifth, or anywhere near the front.  She finished next to last.  I’ll be darned if she didn’t have a Perfect Stride, metronome for pace, stern visage, good heel kick, and No Quit in her.  I’d make a champion out of her.

Linda’s nephew Noah Kunasek qualified for the 100 Meter Hurdles.  Smallest guy in the field of three heats (18 competitors).  Hubris!  Shaking it out before the start, practice run over the first 3 hurdles (only guy to do this!), the gun, and a 6th place finish to take one of the coveted Top Six medals home.  I’m going to make a champion out of him.

Hard Work.  Water.

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Saw this baby sitting along side the road in Arlington while hunting morels this weekend.  Stopped, called, wheeled and dealed, and will be bringing it home this afternoon.  1950, original owner (Thanks Merle), completely rebuilt, destined for the Bar None and many more years of Hard Work.