Dinner of Champions

May 17, 2013

Dinner of Champions

Today, I ran my last competitive race ever. I ran a single mile at our Regional Track Meet. Come Monday, I’ll be turning in my uniform for the last time. I’ll be saying good-bye to the bold GL I’ve worn on my chest for four short years.

Ben and I both ran the mile. And we both got PRs. I got around 4:41-42. Ben got about 4:46-47. Our coaches form of “listen for the gun, look for the finish” timing is not an exact science. So, we were somewhere in that range.

Tonight, I went out for fast food. With four of the greatest guys I’ll ever know. Ben, Jeremy, and the two Sams, the Distance Squad.  Now that most of us are no longer running competitively, we feel absolutely no guilt about throwing a greasy burger and fries down our gullets. Not that I usually have an immense amount of guilt anyway…We had a Dinner of Champions. And it was so tasty.

While it’s great that I can be a fully satisfied, guilt-free customer at McDonald’s or Burger King…the taste of saturated fats is a little bittersweet. Because it’s all over. It’s really all over. Running was how I helped define myself throughout High School. I was Brian Wiegand. I ran Cross Country and Track. That’s what I did. And now…well, now what? What do kids do with the free time they get after school?

High School is really about to end. There’s less than 10 days of school left. That’s nothing. Nothing! Next week will hold my Last Monday, my Last Friday, and it will be my Last Full Week of School. See how I capitalized those? It means they’re important.

I think I’d like to offer some advice. Granted, I’m not some wise sage full of brilliant advice, and the tokens of knowledge I do think I have to offer…may be tokens of foolery. But I’ll give it a go.

Life is a high speed train. It zooms along the clock’s face endlessly and unceasingly. There are certain moments in it’s trek that it may slow down just enough, offer just a slim enough window, for you to jump aboard and take over for the conductor. This is a good thing to do. These windows are things such as tryouts, auditions, sign-ups, meetings, etc. Get on that train. Because things like Track, things like PAC, things like Cross Country. Those things are worth it. So unbelievably worth it that if I lived a million, trillion Lives…I’d go do something every single time. I’d go meet amazing people like Jeremy or Ben or Sam or Sam.

As I’ve said before: I think the success of a Life can be determined by how eager you are to tell someone about it on your death bed. Getting involved as much as you can is one way to make yourself excited about Life.

There’s nothing like the feeling of being on a team, being a part of something bigger than yourself, it’s absolutely glorious. That Dinner of Champions wasn’t great because of the Big Mac, it was great because of the people I was with.

Unfortunately, my days of High School extracurriculars are over. Cross Country has long since finished. PAC ended earlier this week. And now Track has vanished as well.

But it’s all just part of it, it’s just part of growing up and heading out. The good thing is, I get to go into the world knowing that I’m carrying with me a little bit of Coach Portis, of Mr. Nott, of Coach Flynn, of Coach Hawkins, of Mrs. Stahr, of Jeremy, of Ben, of the Sams. I’m a Gull Lake boy, through and trough. Which is kinda cool.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

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I’ll See You Later

August 30, 2012

Today, I had to part with someone really important to me. Someone who I spent most of my final High School Summer with.

It wasn’t: “Goodbye.” That’s what I keep telling myself. It’s: “I’ll See You Later.” And that’s important.

I had to say I’ll See You Later to Carly today. She’s off to Interlochen.

Interlochen, for those who don’t know, is a rather prestigious private high school for the arts. It’s located in Northern Michigan, a good 3-4 hours from our hometown. That isn’t necessarily a huge trip, but it’s enough to make her absence notable.

Carly and her whole family were important to me for a lot of reasons. Over the past Summer, I’ve learned a lot about myself; Carly, her family, and the group of friends I’ve found through Carly are almost completely responsible. High School has been a ride since day one and I’ve certainly learned something new every day, but I think this past Summer, my Last Summer, it was important for me to be with them…because, without them, I think college would still be this outstanding fear in my mind. However, after this Summer, it seems more…conquerable.

From Carly’s sister Erica, I received a revitalizing shock that revamped my interest in writing. When I was in Middle School, I couldn’t stop writing, and I somehow lost that as I entered High School. But meeting Erica and seeing that passion for writing in her has inspired me to write more. It inspired me to want to write The Pan Complex. It inspired me to want to write this blog.

From Carly’s mother Deborah, I’d like to think that I learned a lot more about what it means to be a man. Of course, I learned a lot from my Dad, but there’s only so much a parent can teach you, sometimes lessons are better received and understood from an outside source. Throughout my Life, though, I’ve never been a particularly masculine kid, but Deborah encouraged me to step up to the plate. She encouraged me to be more…present. To be more there. If that makes any sense.

And from Carly, I received care and compassion. Carly would never shy away from an opportunity to support me. Whether it was coming to tedious Track and Cross Country meets or encouraging me during PAC productions or just listening to an Idiot ramble. Everyone needs an outside rock, I believe. Families are brilliant at showing support but there’s always the knowledge that…they’re kind of obligated to. If you can find somebody in this world who will voluntarily show you support on a daily basis, that’s pretty special.

Of course, I still get to see Deborah and Erica all the time. Of course, I’ll still talk to Carly all the time. Of course, it is in no way “Goodbye.” And that’s what I get to believe. Because it’s true. So, I learned a lot from Carly and her family this Summer. I feel more…mature? I feel more ready to face college and the future. Because I know I’ve got this passion for writing. Because I know I can be a man. And because I know I’ve got Carly’s support.

The best part? That was only one Summer.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)