This web log was created to keep you up to date with the athletic pursuits of Blake Boldon. It will be updated regularly with competition schedules, results, and photos.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Portland 5000 Bummer

Things definitely didn't go according to plan tonight in Portland. For those of you who stayed up late enough to watch it, you know that I wasn't in the mix after 3000. The pace went out a little slow (I was 68 for the first 400) and then I pressed to make up the time. I think that I was on my goal pace until around 3000 and then things got really hard. I knew that I wouldn't quit so I worked to stay in the pack and keep passing people but the last 800 meters was a total death march and it ended up being my slowest 5k of the year. After regaining conscious thought I was totally disappointed and I'm not sure where this result leaves me. Fortunately for me, I'm staying with a childhood friend from Osceola, Iowa, Kevin Fitzpatrick. His mom and sister are here visiting him so it's been great to hang out with his family. With the taste of failure still fresh in my mouth the four of us went straight to the airport to pick up one of Kevin’s roommates. We weren’t sure exactly which flight she was on so we waited not-so-patiently in the cell phone waiting area. Without hearing from her right away Kevin and I decided to run into a restricted area to get as close to the runway as possible. We timed it perfectly and were literally within a stone’s throw of a landing aircraft. Along the way we bumped into a memorable character. I am becoming increasingly aware of the purposefulness of every personal interaction that we have. I definitely feel that this stranger was brought into my life to teach me a valuable lesson and help put my poor performance into perspective. Kevin and I were casually talking about the airport and the incoming flights when a man near retirement age helpfully chimed in from behind the wheel of the nearby Lake Oswego Airporter. His knowledge of the flight schedule, the airport and airplanes in general was incredible. Within a few minutes he was able to tell us every flight that was still headed into Portland including the airline, the flight number, and origin cities. This might be easy to pick up for all drivers but he went on to talk about the specifics of the planes and how he’s been able to get some great photos of landings. In Kevin’s words he was a “connoisseur” of airplanes and the next natural question out of Kevin’s mouth was “Have you flown one before?” The man dejectedly said, “No, but I’ve always wanted to.” He added almost apologetically, “But I’ve been in a simulator.” This man has clearly spent his adult life learning the intricate details of planes, the Portland airport, and airlines but something has kept him from pursuing his passion of becoming a pilot. Before I could even feel badly for him a wave of self-assurance washed over me. Tonight I had been flying my plane. Obviously it was a rough flight and at times the discouragement and frustration seem insurmountable but it would be far worse to approach retirement age and know that I never at least tried to get my pilot’s license. It’s a valuable life lesson that we don’t often have the opportunity to learn. What I learned tonight is that we get to choose the life that we lead and if you want to fly a plane don’t settle with driving a taxi. It’s hard to find pleasure in failure and loss but after our trip to the airport I have a deeper understanding of my journey.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are terrific! Not so very long ago I too learned this same life lesson. Just remember I support you every step of the way as you "fly your plane". Never give up your dreams where ever they may take you. Your Biggest Fan

2:42 PM


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