Presumably, when you read this, I will be mid-competition, doing my very best to enter the Guiness Book Of World Records and a place in the immortal canon of heroic deeds. Presumably, years of training, the focus and the repetition of the years, will have paid off and I will be in that bold place where no man...
Each to his own Olympics, eh?
There does come a moment in every person's life, I am convinced, when he or she, or he and she together (with or without children, or he and he, or she and she or Chick-Fil-A) has the chance to do something that no one else has done, in spite of the population growth and the billions and billions of people on this planet and how difficult it is to become an individual who matters. Or, if other people have done it, they haven't done it as well.
The trick is to identify it.
That's where most people mess up. They don't see the low-hanging fruit in front of their eyes. They can't see the golden apple for the tree. The opportunity has passed them by, not out of neglect or indifference, but simply because they didn't realize that it was the opportunity.
I am not making that mistake.
This morning (Sunday, if you are reading on the day it was posted) at exactly 5AM Eastern Standard Time, three members of my clan will have begun our attempt to set the land speed record for a round-trip road trip from Chattanooga, Tennessee to New York City, New York and back. The official distance has been measured by MapQuest as 1626 miles. We plan to be back in Chattanooga by 11PM Monday night.
Hmmmmm......I can hear your little calculator minds going. But, Bob, you say, that is a total of 43 hours. You will only be averaging 38 miles per hour! What kind of a speed record is that?
Okay, okay, but I'm not going to be on the road the whole time! While we're on the road, we'll be averaging 68 miles per hour, which is no mean feat if you recall what happenes to the speed limits once you cross the Mason-Dixon Line. And don't expect me to text from the road up there either, 'cause it's against the law or something.
But we've still got to have a little down time. I mean, crap, don't I get to eat and to get a good night's sleep? I know I'm going for a record and all, but after 12 hours in a car, we're going to want to stretch out on some hotel beds. We're going to want to chow down. We'll be staying in beautiful Hoboken, New Jersey, just across the river from our destination of Columbia University, where we'll drop off my daughter's apartment essentials at a pre-designated time (10 AM, Monday morn, the earliest available time, I promise), and if we can get it all unloaded in an hour, we'll be back on the road home by 11AM. Not likely.
You see, there's this pizza place named Grimaldi's that is supposed to have exceptional coal-fired pizza, and wouldn't one be remiss to be in the New York City area and not give it a try? And Momofuku Noodle Bar? It's listed in the current Newsweek as one of the 101 best restaurants in the world. Like to drop in there on Sunday night. And the shopping? The sights? The traffic?
I guess what I'm saying is we're not actually trying to set the Guiness World Record, we're trying to place. In the top one hundred. Or so. Or at least get back in time to go to work on Tuesday.