He pops out of a side street about 50 yards ahead of me. Weather awful. Misty rain, blustery, 39 degrees. Raw. I’m on a nice flat section of my regular 4-mile running route through town.


I immediately pick up the pace. Stupid. Got half mile to go before the final leg, a killer half-mile hill up to my house. Need to settle in and conserve energy because that hill is bear. But, this kid, from outta nowhere has the audacity to pull in front of me.


Only one thought… run him down.


He’s easily 30 years younger. Form inefficient. Think to myself… gonna smoke him.


Except… I can’t close the distance. Infuriating. Exasperating.


I pick up the pace another notch. Then the next gear. Creeping up on him.

About a quarter mile before the hill, doing physics in my head – time/distance/velocity. Need to go faster if I’m gonna catch him.

About 100 yards before the uphill, kid peels off down a side street. I’m 20 yards back. Don’t think he ever saw me or knew I was even there.

Angry. Disappointed. Indignant. Relieved – hill looming. Spent too much on the pursuit. Hill gonna suck.

It does. Bad.

Got me thinking about competitive nature. What the heck was going through my head??

Gonna explore this a bit more. Where does that come from? Why?


I’ll share another story – The ONLY Race I’ve Ever Won…

Paul Reilly

Paul is the Owner and Founder of MidStrong. He created MidStrong in 2017 to train men and women in midlife who are busy with work and family to build muscle and burn fat so they can look and feel better than they did in their 20’s. MidStrong is making Functional Fitness training safe and fun, and inclusive. He and his wife, Julie also own and operate MidStrong locally, their bricks and mortar business, previously called ACCELERATED Strength & Balance. It is a boutique fitness center specializing in training folks in and around Westborough through the challenges of midlife for more than five years.