days of firsts

First Triathlon
©2011 gary garbett.com

Firsts are valuable. They start something. They set a presence, a tone, a place tobegin, improve, remember, and to learn from. A book’s story begins at the firstpage, not the last. A first kiss is often remembered. As important as they arehowever, we can’t rely solely on firsts. There needs to be a followthrough. A motion that moves us forward and teaches us, one that broadensour ability to become stronger, faster, maturer, one that helps us defineourselves on the first day of the month, but also on the last one.

Aside from my early attraction to Nancy Sinatra, my first real love was a cute brunettenamed Norma. We shared the same fifth grade class at Kodiak On-BaseElementary School and on a few occasions passed a few of the “do you love me” love letters complete with the check box, which were always marked. We never kissed, but from time to time held hands during recess. More than four decades have passed since I watched Norma and her family board that plane for herfather’s next military base. I remember waving as the plane took off from the small island runway. It was a cold, damp, and cloudy day and therewas a mist in the air as I walked home with tears in my eyes. I still rememberit vividly. It was a first.

My first car was a 1965 American Motors Rambler Classic. It was chocolate brown with a three speed on the column, a single speaker in the dash, and an AM radio. Before my first car, I had a second hand bicycle and my first paper route. I loved the responsibility and independence so much that I created my own monopoly by adding three additional routes. Around the same time, I also had a dog named Elton. He was also a first.

Upon hearing a song for the very first time that will eventually be added to my all-time favorites list is a sacred moment. Becoming that favorite adds another layer. That then adds another, andthen another. Life evolves through process, one that’s lived through countless firsts, fortunately, …most firsts lead to seconds.

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