on speaking in public

on friday, i did something really scary. i spoke in front of a whole lot of people. i was chosen to speak at this month's creative mornings boston meeting, and i didn't throw up. it was great! anyway, here's a loose transcript of what i said. because i'm proud of myself and want to have this here for posterity.
Time / December '15
I’m Alex. I work in corporate marketing during the week and can teach you everything you want to know about healthy skincare down at Follain in the South End on weekends. And, if you didn’t know already, I’m a runner. I’ve been running for about six years, so not as long as many, but still a while. I really like long-distance running, like marathons, What can I say? I guess I’m just a glutton for punishment. Today, I’m going to talk to you about the fluidity of time in respect to running. And, well, life.

When you run a lot, you have a lot of time to think. About life, what’s happening in the world, what’s for dinner. Sometimes that’s really cool. Sometimes it’s annoying.

Sometimes, on rough days, runs can feel like they’ll never end. Miles slog on forever, legs feel heavy, like they’re filled with lead. Hills can never end. You just keep going up up up, to an allusive top that’s always just out of reach. Those runs really suck.

And then there are days where running is effortless. Everything falls together perfectly. Time slips away and suddenly you’ve been on the road for an hour, two hours, sometimes even three. And it was over in the blink of an eye. It’s crazy. Or I’m crazy. One of the two. Time is fluid. Not every day, hour, minute is the same.

Training for a marathon is like this too. You spend months going out on runs, training for that one Big Run. Capital B and R Big Run. If you’re a casual runner like me, you’re putting a solid three to four months into training for one day. One day! And the runs! My god! They don’t end. Let me tell you, 20 miles feels like an eternity.

And then the big day comes, right? And you’re all amped up. Ready to get out there. If you run Boston, like me, you’re so excited to run by your friends and family and you’re so worried your going to miss someone (you will). But you’re excited. It’s here! And here’s a secret to my non-marathoning friends: the run goes by in a blink of an eye. No matter how good or bad it goes (and I should know, because it once took me six hours to run Boston). All of a sudden, it’s over.

Life is like this too. Sometimes years fly by. Big life things come and go, and all of a sudden all your friends want to know if you want to go to the bar for New Years Eve (you don’t), or what your resolutions are for the upcoming year (floss, drink more water).

But interspersed in that fast year? Days that don’t end. Grief and pain that stretches for weeks and months. It’s strange, right? All those slow days that drag on and on, it all leads up to something bigger that’s gone in the blink of an eye.

Life is a Big Run. Capital B and R Big Run. Those days, or runs, that feel like they won’t end? Just remember, one day you’re going to look back and be like “Wow, I can’t believe how fast time flies.”

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