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Empty on Running

Posted Tuesday, October 16, 2007, at 10:43 AM

Did you realize that people sometimes run just for the fun of it? And I'm not talking about around the pool. I'm talking about miles and miles. And they do it for the most part without either stopping to rest or falling over dead.

I've seen it, people. With my own eyes.

Recently my wife has taken up running. She started off on the treadmill. This thing had been there in the bedroom for…I don't know--years, maybe, serving as a perfectly good clothes rack, and then one day out of the blue she plugs it in and turns it on. Then she hopped aboard and away she went. (Or rather, there she stayed, but you get the idea.) While I sprawled on the couch waiting for the whole thing to blow over, she persisted and got into shape. At the beginning she just walked for hours at a time. Now she runs races. She even won in her age group in a 5K race here a few weeks ago. My feelings about this sway between pride and resentment. I'm very happy that she feels better and is getting healthier, but I can't help suspecting that mainly it's just a ploy to humiliate me.

There are several of us in a similar boat at these races. The pistol sounds and the crowd of runners takes off down the road and there we are, left milling around among the race organizers at the finish line. Some loudly harangue their children so everyone will know they're only out of the running because somebody has to look after little Bobby and Alice. Others ostentatiously check stopwatches and scribble on clipboards. They're "coaches." (Yeah. Sure they are.) But those of us with none of that to fall back on just keep our heads down and try not to make eye contact. Lately, I've taken to walking around the finish line with a pronounced exculpatory limp.

Mark Twain said, "Whenever I feel the urge to exercise, I lie down until it goes away." I've always been of a similar mind. Plus, I don't like treadmills in general because of a deep aversion I have to metaphors for my life. (For the same reason, I never take the "down" escalator.) But the pressure has become too much. I have finally winched myself off the couch and put on the sneakers. I am attempting to bring myself up to speed. I have begun to work at getting myself into "shape." All I know is if a positive attitude is half the battle, I'm already in full retreat.

But the bright spot is that I'll almost certainly tear something loose in the next day or two. Nobody can blame me for sitting on the couch if my leg is in a cast.

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Al sells shoes...........he and the podiatrist could get together.......

-- Posted by Johnny Yuma on Tue, Oct 23, 2007, at 5:26 PM

Yes. "They" will do anything to humiliate us: Education, careers, voting, even running. Anyone for starting an Al Bundy support group?

-- Posted by gb on Mon, Oct 22, 2007, at 8:09 PM

God, and my podiatrist.

-- Posted by kenteutsch on Mon, Oct 22, 2007, at 8:27 AM

Don't be so pessimistic.................... all life is movement and action..... toward what only God knows..........

-- Posted by Johnny Yuma on Sun, Oct 21, 2007, at 7:16 PM

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