You know you’re getting old when your own history comes back at you, and it’s not quite as you remembered it.
Case in point… In today’s mail, I received a package from my son Simon and his wife. In addition to two lovely photos of me and their three-month old baby, there was also some stuff from my distant past. To be specific, my bib number, Certificate of Completion, and a few photos from the first marathon I ever did, the 1980 Toronto Labatt’s Marathon.
I’ve previously written about that race on this blog (here), because it was the start of all that I’m doing now. But it seems that the mists of history obscured one important thing – I was faster than I remembered. For a long time now, I thought I’d finished that marathon with a time of 4:30 “and change.” As it turns out, my real finishing time was 4:24:48.7! I’m pretty proud of that revised time, though, I confess, am somewhat embarrassed that I’ve been getting it wrong all this time.
As well as what’s in the above image, there were other photos in the package. There are a couple of me just before the finish, on the track of the University of Toronto’s old Varsity Stadium. And there’s this fuzzy headshot photo of me after the race was done and put to bed. I look wiped-out tired, in a world of hurt, and exultant. It’s a strange, heady mix – very much a “first-time marathoner” photo.
Oddly enough, the bib number, certificate, and photos look as fresh as if October 5, 1980 happened only yesterday. In contrast, my body, mind, and spirit bear all the marks (positive and negative) of the past 31 years. Opening that package was like having my past open up before me. It was an odd feeling, but a very good one!