All Cylinders

Yesterday I ran 18:24 in the Washington Heights 5k.

I’ve run that race every year since I started racing regularly in 2014. My first year, I ran 19:15. In 2016, I set a still-standing PR of 17:55. Three other times I ran between 18:51 and 18:56. So yesterday wasn’t a PR, but it was a good sign.

I’m hopeful I can at least get back under 1:21 in Brooklyn in May. My mostly-indoor training has paid off since I was faster today than in the Superbowl race and that was only 4 weeks ago. I just need to build up my endurance and consistency.

But I’m gonna big myself up for a second.

I’m lucky to have a supportive wife and job etc. Because right now I am trying to help train a puppy, excel at work, excel at school, and be supportive at home (on top of the puppy stuff). This is not the same as having a child, no, but it’s a lot of balls to juggle.

And for whatever reason, I tend to look at running times and grades as barometers because they’re definitive. I finish a race in a specific amount of time. Etc.

I look back on times when things weren’t going as well in my life, well, I often excelled at one or two things (e.g., my best racing year was 2015, but I wasn’t exactly responsible for anything or anyone), but never all aspects.

This may not last forever - maybe I’ll fail the midterm in statistics - but there’s a balance needed to what I’m trying to do that would not have been possible without inner stability I didn’t even realize I lacked until I talked to someone who could help.

Yeah, sometimes I think back to the days when I was erratic internally and externally, and I wonder where I’d be if I had gotten a handle on myself sooner. But this isn’t a bad place to be at all, and most people aren’t fortunate enough to be able to say so.

I always thought I was healthy because, mostly, I was, at least physically. But there’s more to health than that, and I think I’m finally healthy now.

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Justin Gerald

Age: 28 Hometown: NYC Location: NYC Career: Education Undergrad: Princeton Grad: New School Likes: Cooking, Baseball, Socializing, Parks, Pop Culture, Feminism Loves: Traveling, Running, Lifting, Trivia, Teaching, Equality