Dear Younger Me: Michael Granville – MileSplit

Posted: August 23, 2017 at 7:45 am


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You start to go numb.Everything goes silent. And yet, you know there should be sound. Because you see the anguish on your mom's face as she tried to push all the new flurry of confetti into a pile. You see how she's hit by the clock as to remind her about time and going over his curfew. Your brothers and sisters are bumping into each other trying to get to their rooms.Tue Tue,I remember you being filled with adrenaline; it was about survival mode. Fight or flight? I remember your whole body feeling swollen, like the blood was pushing through your palms and your ears felt erect. You felt like you couldn't move, but you find peace staring at the blank screen of the floor model TV set. I remember Mario (5 years old at the time) sliding next to you and joining your stare at the TV.

He whispers to you,"Tue Tue, whatever you do . . . please, break that record."

You say, "OK."

You sit there until it's time to run your 1:46.45.

Even today, I am a fan of your bravery. You ignore his efforts to communicate on the way and during the meet. To your surprise, your standoff doesn't lead to more chaos. He leaves you be. I remember during the warmup you stay quiet and distant. As the final call for your semi-final is announced, he now needs to say something to you.

You were expecting an apology for HIM being the distraction, or even something like, 'I love you no matter what the outcome.' But he says, "The wind is not blowing, this is the day to do it!" And Tue Tue, you don't break your silent protest. You only nod in agreement. By then, you had your mind made up already. You were strong enough to figure it out: sprint the third two hundred meters to exhaustion. I know you would always run the first 200, jog the middle 400, then sprint the last 200. But here on this day, you decide to run the third 200 so hard that you would fatigue out at the 600 meter mark.

That didn't happen.

Tue, I remember the splits. The first lap felt like a 100 meter wind sprint. The clock clicks 49 ... 50. The bell lap rings at 51. It's hilarious to me now, and I know you feel it still. You making a pow noise in your head to signify the start of the real race, the third 200m. You hit the third 200 in 26 seconds! You get to the 600 and don't feel tired, but you can start hearing your breathe and the feeling of your feet hitting ground as you come around the last turn.

Da dum, da dum, da dum, da dum!

With 100 meters to go, you hear your dad at the 700 meter mark shouting, 1:27, 1:28, 29, 30 ... You do the math and believe you can do 14 or 15 seconds for the last 100! At this moment you feel alive! The crowd noise starts to filter in, you see the clock, 1:38, 39 ... Your legs suddenly become tree trunks that feel planted to the ground with every step, but you push past the finish line with the biggest smile on you face. 1:46.45!

You see two of your best friends from Bell Gardens High School, Juan and Bern Dawg, at the finish line. You run to give them some respect for the support. Twenty years from today, you will make a 100 t-shirts commemorating 20 years of setting the national record using the accutrak print out given to you by the officials. You are smiling with your right index finger pointing to the heavens (and, the wind reading says 0, lol!).

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Dear Younger Me: Michael Granville - MileSplit

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August 23rd, 2017 at 7:45 am