Math is the universal language. When most things don’t make since, math usually does. That’s what the smart, Jeff Goldblum type characters tell us anyway. My skill set does not line up with the “way of the number” and that’s a very good thing. For me, this year takes aim at percentages and says, “forget everything you thought you knew, screw the odds!”
June 3, 2018. It’s an upcoming Sunday, less than 90 days away, how it flies! At some point in the morning on that day I will be taking my place at the starting line in San Diego for my first marathon. I’ve been slowly increasing my training over the last few weeks and tonight while “fartleking” (a training method, not gas) on the treadmill I came to a realization, “I might actually be able to pull this shit off!” “Tons of people run marathons Billy, why are you so dramatic?” You might be saying. Well, no they don’t. Only .05% of the US population have ever run a marathon! A few months ago when I started this whole thing, I couldn’t jog around the block, making my percentage even lower. There is significance to the race and where it’s at as well, but that will be wrapped up at the end with a tidy bow just like you mathematicians like it!
June 4, 2018. Here’s where it gets fun and flabbergasting. The day after the marathon is, in my world called the “Longest Day in Golf.” It’s Sectional Qualifying day for the 2018 United States Open. I have not been to this day in my many attempts over the last decade and a half, or so. Without getting too golf-centric for my non-golf readers, let’s say it’s a really long shot to make it to the Open from qualifying. Let’s see if I can explain. There are 2 stages, Local and Sectional. 100 Local sites are held across the US, with a couple International locations. It is a 18 hole round of stroke play and so many from each site advance to Sectionals. That’s the easy part, except for the fact I’ve never done it. The longest day in golf consists of only 12 sites and 36 holes in one day for only a few spots at each location. Simple, shoot 3 good scores and get in, right? Here’s the math: 9,485 players tee’d it up at local qualifying in 2017, only 73 players gained entrance into the Open from Qualifying. If I do some quick gorilla math, that’s .77% (thanks Texas Instruments). So, you’re saying there’s a chance!!! A thought, “how many qualifiers have run a marathon the day before Sectionals? Get ready Golf Channel!
The game and the sites have unique significance in my life. This is where things get even more interesting. In our country, every 4 minutes someone dies from a drug overdose, an alcohol overdose or suicide. This is unfortunate math that permeates our culture and isn’t talked about near enough. I talk the shit out of it because someone has to! You hear all the tales of sorrow but not too many survivor’s regale the world in triumph. I’m lucky enough to not have become one of those statistics, overcoming very one sided odds. 2001, San Diego California, it became my reality that I could end my own pain. Long story, that you can read somewhere in this blog, made short; something, someone, somehow intervened. I survived my first of a few near deaths. So, running a marathon in a city that holds that kind of memory is a very big deal to me. The dichotomy of that is San Diego is also home to some of my fondest memories and probably my favorite place on the west coast. One of the many things that has led me to this great life that I lead today is the game of golf, not just a game to me.
You want more “against the percentages” for 2018. A few years ago I went back to school. I started as a 38 year old freshman and a junior college. I’m busting my ass to complete my BA by the end of this year. That would be a monumental achievement for me. Let me say that differently, that will be a monumental achievement for me. I don’t know the percentages of adults that go back to college and complete a BA and honestly I’m sick of math, so let’s just say it’s probably less than the marathon and US Open combined.
Add in a little man that will turn 2 the week after the Open (yes, I was hoping he was born on the weekend of) , a sassy 3 year old princess that turns 4 in October, a kick ass wife that has earned more of ME, my 42 birthday in October and many other ambitions I’ve got my sites set on and you could say 2018 is just another year in my crazy adventure.
If you are a realist and have no place for dreamers in you heart, please keep it to yourself. If you are new to my writing and would like, please read more. It can get ugly at times, so please don’t grammar Nazi me. I write these very quickly and tend to fuck up a little. I use foul language from time to time. If you are from my public Instagram, welcome to a little more of me! If you’ve been reading for years, I’m back! Thanks for hanging in there during my hiatus!