Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Zany orange zeal

If you've seen any of the long track speed skating during the Olympics, you've probably noticed the Dutch fans. They love their speed skating and they're nuts! I mean, nuts in a good, wacky, patriotic way.

Check these people out:


They have what Mary Carillo has called "zany orange zeal."

They cheer. They sing. They dress all in orange and wear wacky orange wigs. They lo-o-o-o-ve their speed skating.

After watching those fans, I got to thinking. Where's my zany orange zeal? Is there anything that I am so jazzed about that I would consider wearing bright orange capri-length overalls -- in public, with a contrasting neon orange top underneath -- for?

I didn't go to a college with a big sports program. My son isn't even in school yet so I can't cheer from the stands for him. While I'm a huge Yankees fan, I'm just a fan. I don't even go to the games now that we are no longer in NYC.

Running? Do I have zany orange zeal for running? Well, not for races, necessarily. Sure, I was cheering with every ounce of my body when Meb won the NYC Marathon but that's not zany orange zeal. I wasn't so passionate about the event that I had to drive 2.5 hours south to watch the race, while dressed in my red, white and blue best.

No. I am a running fan, but not one with the same kind of zeal.

The Olympics? Well, kinda. I love the Olympics. I love rooting for Team USA. I was nervous during short-track speed skating when the Koreans fell and USA took silver and bronze. I was cheering hard during snowboard cross. And I held my breath as Bode Miller barreled down the mountain to bronze.

But, again, no real zany orange zeal. I was watching from my couch. Wearing sweats. Black sweats. Nothing zany there.

My zany orange zeal is a little more private. As I thought and thought and thought about this (too much time thinking? Maybe . . . ), I determined that I have some zany orange zeal for me. For this person. Me. Not in some weird "I'm good enough and gosh-darnit people like me!" type of way.

My zany orange zeal exists for me and my running. I feel it when I'm running my neighborhood loop and thinking about my upcoming race. I imagine myself running a strong leg in the Winter Marathon Relay (on Sunday! Yikes!). I pump myself up. I think about how I'll start and how I'll finish. What my time will be. I cheer for myself with a zany orange zeal that you would only know existed if you could peek inside my mind.

And sometimes, I imagine future races -- like when I'm burying the masters competition, or setting a series of new PRs, or running Boston just months after a stellar BQ race. I pull out all kinds of zany orange zeal in those moments.

None of it may happen. Some of it might. Who knows. But it doesn't matter because those moments of dreaming and imagining are fun and inspiring and I enjoy them.

I am my own Dutch fan.

So much of running is about striving -- to run better, smarter, faster, whatever. To do more. To continue. To strive, and thrive while striving, I guess I need some zany orange zeal. And I'd argue that we all do. I'd argue that imagining what could be is an important part of running.

So, what about you? Do you have any zany orange zeal? Gonna muster some up for yourself? I think that would be a good idea.

Have a great day, everyone!

~ Felice

26 comments:

Molly said...

my orange zeal kicks in when a song comes on my ipod that particularly rocks, and has meaningful lyrics, I get my groove on and feel like I can do anything.

Marlene said...

Great post! The Dutch fans are just awesome... I'm loving all the orange enthusiasm!

I often catch myself smiling like a fool or ALMOST fist-pumping during a run when I imagine an upcoming race, envisioning myself gunning to the finish with a sweet PR. I guess that's my zany orange zeal!

J said...

So I may not be sitting in red white and blue when I watch the Olympics but I really enjoy watching every single minute of competition. It brings back memories of college when i would make an effort to go to all the other sports event and cheer them on!

Jen said...

My zany orange zeal is on my rest days... I look back at what I accomplished that week... however small or large, I feel good!

Talitha said...

"I am my own Dutch fan."

OMGosh, I love this. I am my own Dutch fan. YES! :-) Me too.

Jocelyn said...

Love it! I think your friends and family will are your orange zeal! :)

Momma Twitch said...

Great post!!! My zeal kicks in when I turn the corner towards the finish line and see my hubby and babies waiting at the finish line chearing me on. :)

Darlene said...

Check out my blog (myfirst5k.wordpress.com), I tagged you to receive a new award.

I love the OLYMPICS!!

onelittletrigirl said...

I love this post- too cute! My zanyorangezeal comes out when I feel like I can't give any more but then do!

I Run for Fun said...

Awesome post! I am with you...my zany organge zeal is deep inside me and reveals itself during a race or in anticipation of a race. And also during team games. I used to play basket ball in school...and I had major zany orange zeal at the time!

Suzy said...

I have zany orange zeal! You should see me when the Green Bay Packers play. I proudly wear my green and gold. I'll even paint my face and if the moment strikes - put on a cheese head. There is nothing better than a room full of Packer fans. I don't have a lot of zany orange zeal for any sports I've ever tried (well, as compared to cheering for the Packers), but I'm working on it. As for Sunday - I'm stoked and ready!

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

Oh yeah, I'm a dreamer! The hope of improving won't let me give up.

Candice @ I Have Run said...

My zany orange zeal hits when I get to that place in my run where I feel totally IN the run and don't ever want to stop.

Love this post!

Quix said...

I LOVE IT! I am totally zany orange over myself too. :) You are going to rock that relay!

ajh said...

Mine kicks in when I am done a race!

Heather said...

What a great post - I love your zany orange zeal!

Meg said...

You are so funny!!

RunKathyRun said...

This post is awesome, it made me smile and I needed it tonight. We need to have zeal for ourselves and I think we forget this sometimes.

Abby said...

No specific comments - just wanted to let you know I enjoyed this one :)

Also, I took a cue from one of your earlier posts and have been re-reading old issues of Runners World on the treadmill - makes the miles fly by!

Suzy said...

Consider yourself tagged. See my blog.

Anonymous said...

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NY Wolve said...

I actually heard Mary Carillo explain that the color orange is associated with Netherlands because the ruling family is from the House of Orange. Hence, the association!

Roisin said...

I love that..."I am my own Dutch Fan".

Brilliant! May we all be our own Dutch fans!

Sandra said...

hi!
I'm Sandra and I'm Dutch :)
I think your post is really great
and I indeed sit in front of my tv with something orange! and it is strange really. I mostly like doing the sports and not the watching. But speed skating! you just grow up with it!

misszippy said...

Love this concept. I think it's great to have zany orange zeal for your own racing. If you don't have it, then why do it, I say!

Denise said...

I think you're focusing your zany orange zeal in exactly the right place!

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