Last summer I wrote a piece called Eight Quotes of the Summer. It was a fun piece to write so I wanted to write a similar piece at the end of this summer.
Looking at these quotes I make myself reflect back on the things I learned and thought about this summer. These quotes from a variety of places — videos, books, movies, television shows, etc. The quotes are more centered on life than running.
What follows is a series of quotes followed by a brief description of what that quote means to me.
- “We are in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars.” — Chen Nian, From the movie Better Days
Better Days was the most moving movie I watched during quarantine. My favorite movies are the ones that move you emotionally and capture what it means to be human. Better Days does that. This quote is really poetic but the movie calls into question how long can someone hold out in the gutter. Even if someone is looking up and dreaming of the stars, that is not always enough to bring them through the days in the gutter. Go watch this movie.
2. “There’s some real value in being delusional about your own talent.” — Ryen Russillo, Podcast Host
Never did I think I would be quoting one of my favorite sports podcasters but I really related to this quote. This was in reference to Russillo starting his career in radio and how he experienced a lot of self doubt at the beginning of his career. He was always jealous of those guys who would do shows and walk out like ‘yeah, I killed that.’ But believing in yourself, especially when you first start something, is extremely valuable. I experience this a lot when teaching where I will walk out of a class thinking about all the things that went wrong. Sometimes it is okay to walk out of something thinking you killed it.
3. “After a long night of thinking, it felt good to be out here doing.” — Henry, The Art of Fielding
The Art of Fielding is my favorite book I read this summer. It does a tremendous job of capturing what it is like to be a serious athlete. Henry goes through a huge slump as a baseball player in this book and beings to overthink everything. All struggling athletes tend to overthink. Here, Henry perfectly captures how good it feels to get out of your own head and just get back to putting in the work. Putting in the work for him means fielding ground balls. For me, it’s just getting in the miles. It does not matter the work, what matters is being fully engrossed in the task at hand. That’s what doing is.
4. “In the ninja world, those who break the rules and regulations are called trash. However, those who don’t care about their friends are even worse than trash.” — Kakashi Hatake, Teacher in Naruto
The whole theme of Naruto is friendship. Time and time again it goes back to fighting for the people you love. During quarantine, I got to connect with my friends a lot more than I normally do. It was virtual for the most part, but it felt really good to more consistently connect with the people I love. That’s been the biggest theme of my summer, is reaching out and staying connected to my friends.
5. “I think it’s so rare that people get to hurt in a way that feels productive.” — Drew Hunter, Professional Runner
Had to get a running quote in there. But Drew really captured something meaningful here. Like many others, my life got turned upside down by COVID. The days started to mesh together. It got harder and harder to wake up and get out of bed. But I always felt better after getting out the door and getting a run in. Drew’s quote serves as a reminder: Sometimes you just got to go out and run your fucking soul out. If you do that, the day is not wasted.
6. “Art is not a one sided lecture, it’s a conversation. One that the artist starts and each member of their audience continues in their own heads and with each other.” — Mother’s Basement, Anime Youtuber
Read that quote again. That is such a beautiful way of putting it. He is not just referring to art in the traditional sense, he is referring to shows and movies. The shows I watch and the movies I watch truly move me and I feel like this quote captures it. I can;t believe someone put it so beautifully.
7. “Life happens wherever you are. Whether you make it or not.” — Uncle Iroh, Coolest Character in Avatar: The Last Airbender
You have to be where you are. I’ve a bad couple months when it comes to mental health and I think this is part of the problem. I have not been really present and I think I am most happy when I take in the present. I’m not going to write an in-depth character analysis on Uncle Iroh right here but he has been through a lot and has chosen that he is going to build his own life. He will not just stand around and watch life pass him by he will build his own. That serves as a reminder to me that I need to build my own life. It is going to happen anyways.
Thank you for reading if you got this far. I love you.