“Faster As A Master” Book Intro Part 1
My book is coming along nicely in the editing process. My editor Ruth Hull Chatlien is providing some great training for me to be a better writer.
Here is the first of three installments for the Introduction. Enjoy.
Stay tuned, there is more to come. I am hoping to wrap up and start publishing in the next couple months.
Qualifying for the U.S. Olympic long track speed skating trials for the upcoming Torino 2006 Olympics, at the age of 49, was going to be one of the hardest and most challenging things I have ever done in my life. This challenge would push me to be at my best physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. It would also be one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. I would have to skate significantly faster than I did when I was a teenager on the U. S. National team from 1974 through 1976. I would have to go faster than any man has gone at my age ever.
The drive to qualify started when I was a teenager on the U.S. National team in 1974. My parents whose philosophy about raising three boys was to keep us tired by channeling our energy through the outlet of sports. As a result, my two brothers and I all achieved a great deal. I am the oldest, Bart is next by two years, Mike is the youngest following Bart by three years. When i was about 14, it was evident that Bart better at his sport, gymnastics, than Mike and I were as speed skaters. Asked by my parents to support Bart in his quest, and being a natural leader, I accepted the role. I continued to strive for my own goals but the focus shifted for the family. We all accepted responsibility for our roles but during this time I lost my voice. This created a disconnect in me and a wound that would not heal, just scab over.
In my adult life I woke up to a 25 year marriage where I also lost my voice. I poured all I had into building my career and a family life. Athletic passion was diverted to my passion for flying and building a family life. The energy I spent towards my marriage was wasted. The death of my marriage and the subsequent struggle of my identity was frightening. Who was I? Who had I become? Where did I want to go, do, and be? All these essential questions were needing answers. In due time I would be able to address them all, and be whole like never before. Front and center, my skating was something tangible to work on, and distinct way out of my predicament. Could speeding around a track become the metaphor for my life? I had a vehicle for my path forward.
AP Photo, US Olympic Trials, December 2005, Salt Lake City, UT