Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Day 17 The need for speed

There was never in my life the need for speed.  Because growing up, sports were not offered for young ladies.  The state of Illinois prohibited in those days any intramural sports for girls.  And if a girl wanted to participate in sports, well, there was water ballet.  The Dark Ages?  Just remember that the women’s Olympic marathon did not even exist until the summer our second daughter was born in 1984.

So to be a fast runner, well, there wasn’t any need.  And actually there wasn’t any ability either when it came down to it.  Speed was left out when it came to my DNA.  I can go forever, but there is no swoosh.  It just isn’t there.  As I made my way to the Wheaton College track today to run a few laps, I thought about the first time I ever ran a race.  Ever.  It was 1980.  A business colleague of Bill’s had invited us to run a 10k road race and have brunch afterwards with a few friends.  Sounds like fun, said my newly married husband.  I am not sure that I responded at all.  I was, quite frankly, terrified.  There were no 5k (3.1 mile) races back then.  So we are talking 6.2 miles.  I was afraid that I would be going so slow that before I could finish they would have put away the orange cones that mark the course and I would be totally lost and miss the celebratory brunch.  Needless to say, I thought I was doing ok for myself until I was passed by both a six year old boy and a man who appeared to be about 80. 

And I believe that as they passed, they swooshed.

At the track this morning, two girls were lounging on the in-field.  An older man was running up and down the bleachers.  A young man wearing a tennis t-shirt ran incredibly fast and didn’t even break a sweat.  And there was a youngish woman casually jogging along in front of me….whom I never caught up to.

And no one cared at all that I did not swoosh.  Just dancin’ to my own beat.  And that’s ok too.

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