<$BlogRSDURL$>

Friday, August 22, 2008

A memory



A scene:

Late Spring 1985 on an overcast day. For some reason, at the very end of my Senior year I decided to run on the track team. I have no idea what inspired me to do so, perhaps it was a last vestige of School Spirit that hadn't been beaten out of me by the system, or me wanting a free sweatshirt. But I joined the track team.

But what event? I knew as much about track as I knew about every other sport...nothing. I always liked jumping so I became a hurdler.

Thing is...I'm slow, very slow. Because I was so obviously slow it was clear I would never win a heat, so I didn't have a coach by my side encouraging me or telling me how to run the hurdles. Did you know you had count your steps and have a hurdling pace? I didn't until someone on the team finally told me. So I did my best to count my steps as I ran the hurdles.

Back to that late spring day: I am at the Rich Kids school in the Rich Burbs, and I am going to run in a heat. The last heat for the 300 hurdles. That is 3/4 of the track.

It's just me and another guy, all the best guys having gone first.

On your mark

Get Set

GO!

The gun goes off and I am finally racing someone for the first time. Immediately I lose count of my steps. My pacing is way off and I look like a cow jumping over the moon as I huff and puff my way around the track.

Is the crowd cheering? Are they laughing? I have no idea. I am running and lurching, running and lurching.

I get to the end, totally spent and discovered that I won my heat!

Of the two heats I ran that Spring against other teams, that was the only one I won.

The second heat cost me a possible date because I was so slow, but I don't have evidence to back that up. Only a memory of an interested girl who seemed to lose interest along with my race.

But hey, I got a cool sweat shirt (which I stole because it was part of the uniform and not free after all) and shin splints out of the deal along with a Letter for a letter jacket I would never buy and promptly lost.

When I watch the Olympics, this is what I am reminded of.

Labels:


Comments:
I don't think its possible for someone to be any slower than I am.

In 1985 as well, I was a freshman in college. A bunch of my friends started an IM football team. They had no idea where to put me. I wasn't big enough to play line and I wasn't quick enough for any of the skill positions. But I had good instincts and good hands, so I wound up playing something like a free safety on defense and tight end on offense.

One game I picked off a throw when the other team's receiver fell down. I caught it right at their goal line and I had nothing but daylight on at least half of the field, so I started running.

Next thing I know a buddy was running along side me, jogging almost, telling me what to do.

"Run faster...they are catching up. Why aren't you running faster? Here give me the ball. Wait...here they come. Just hold onto it with both hands and fall down...you are about to get tackled" he told me.

It felt like slow motion, maybe because it was. Over a beer after the game, both teams were cracking up at what they considered to be the slowest human being ever to run with a football. That would be me! ;)
 
I have no idea what any of this means: A bunch of my friends started an IM football team. They had no idea where to put me. I wasn't big enough to play line and I wasn't quick enough for any of the skill positions. But I had good instincts and good hands, so I wound up playing something like a free safety on defense and tight end on offense."

Somehow everyone always knew the rules and positions and I just sat there and ate grass because they guide on a field trip said we could eat it and not die.
 
Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]



Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?