After about the fourth or fifth time opening the empty cupboards in my kitchen on Monday night, hoping that somehow food would magically appear, I finally reached the conclusion that I have hurricane hubris. And that I’m a lousy excuse for a Floridian. And I shouldn’t have laid out by the pool and played Mario Cart all Friday instead of preparing the cinderblock bungalow that I call home for the potentiality of impending disaster. And you know, maybe I should have at least gone grocery shopping at some point in the last few weeks.
So a part of me knew that I deserved the pasta that I found stuffed in the corner of a shelf that my teammate Will Simons left in my house two years ago when we lived together. As I ate the expired pasta (yes I’d stake my life on the fact that pasta can go bad) that I covered in Chick-fil-A sauce and Flaming Hot Cheetos (because this pasta certainly went bad) and only had to worry about the disapproving looks that my dog gave me, I realized I’m no better than I was when I was a freshman. Yes, Bryce Kelley, the 22 year-old currently sporting his best impression of a 13 year-old’s sad first attempt at a mustache who ate half a tub of cookie dough last night, isn’t as mature as one might think. And this hefty realization of how quickly time flies made me remember something a fifth-year teammate of mine said to me when I first came here.
Halfway through an easy 10-miler in the spring of 2014, where I was no doubt huffing and puffing off my freshmen 15, Sean Quinn or “Quinner”, a spritely guy that had been on the team when the ‘Noles were at their peak told me, ‘You know Bryce, every year in college goes by quicker than the last. The trick is to slow it down as much as possible.’ I didn’t quite believe him at the time, probably due to every 19 year-old thinking that everyone else is just blowing steam, but boy was he right. I think every parent or recently graduated and recently nostalgic person that comes across this article will agree. And risking sounding like I’m old enough to be playing chess in a park somewhere with my other nursing home buddies, it really does feel like yesterday that I slept right through tropical storm Hermine last year, absolutely flabbergasted that there was a jungle gym of fallen oaks strewn across the street, complete with rope swings (power lines).
All this incoherent rambling has a point though. When you start college, student-athlete or not, you don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel – the light in this case being insurance, mortgages, cell phone bills, and a little thing called a job. But as you get closer to the end and you’re so used to being stupefied by all the fun stuff there is in that tunnel, you begin to scratch and claw at the sides to slow yourself down. Suddenly time becomes precious. You realize Quinner spoke the truth during that afternoon run.
So now, every time I put on the sleek Nike FSU jersey and step to the line, I’ll remember that my time representing FSU is coming to an end.
I can see the cubicle in the distance complete with the paper copier that doesn’t ever work when you need it to. And I implore all my fellow runners to believe me and make every moment of their time worth it. This doesn’t last forever. That paper copier will suck and that person in the cubicle next to you that wishes you a happy Monday, will suck too. You know what doesn’t suck? Being a cross country runner in college at the best university in the world…and my expired pasta recipe.
Bryce Kelley, a graduate student in Integrated Marketing Communications, is a fifth-year Seminole from Hope Valley, R.I. A two-time All-ACC Academic selection in cross country with his undergraduate degree in Creative Writing, Kelley will be providing a weekly inside look at the FSU men’s team throughout the season.