The impromptu court began as it always began; a perfect blend of blistering accusations, certitude and incredulity. There was just no way that the defendant would be able to accomplish what he needed to accomplish and would be found guilty of biting off more than he could chew; again.
The prosecution cleared his throat in mild annoyance, clearly not pleased to be out through procedures with such an open and shut case. The defendant had no business even calling himself a runner in the first place. He was slow, he had never won any races, there were men faster than he and older than he.. And better than he. Sure! There was the odd and very rare age-group award but to the prosecutors discerning eye, those races just didn’t rate.
So that’s what he said. He stood up and ridiculed, jeered and condemned the man who was trying to be something “..he simply.. was not.”. He even failed in his Saturday long run those last two miles; here was someone who could not hope to qualify
The defendant hung his head, deflated, beaten.
“..under the bludgeonings of chance, my head is bloody, but unbowed!“
The defense stood and cried weakly that the defendant was no spring chicken, he was late to the game and under those circumstances, had actually achieved tremendous things. So what if the defense’s client had not won any major races or could not keep up with the truly fast runners, he was ahead of 99% of every other American 45 year old in overall health and fitness; a veritable phenomenon.
The defendant stirred with the rest of the courtroom and seemed to regain some of his composure. It was true – he want the greatest but he didn’t have to be the greatest, he just needed to be the best version of himself. That, with all the failures and short-comings, was still exactly what he was.
It was then that he realized that he was not only the defendant, the prosecutor and the defense – he was the judge as well. He got to decide his fate.
It’s all me.
Let all the negative thoughts be true and the case against me be unassailable – still I will be my own champion and still, with confidence, I will run.
And I will qualify.
“It matters not how straight the gate, how charged with punishment the scroll. I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul”
My confidence rests not I’m my ability as a runner but in my attitude as a person. My confidence is strong because I am strong. My confidence is forged in pain and failure and is founded on friendship and coached experience.
I will be confident when there is only ever doubt because it is the only option I will allow.