The View From Here: Making A Run For It
By Ken DeLaat
Running has never exactly been my forte to say the least. Even as a child I could be circling the group of seated kids for hours while playing Duck Duck Goose trying desperately to find one who might be nearly as slow as me or perhaps clumsy enough to hope for a stumble.
Playing baseball during early years and softball until well into my 40’s I became known for hitting some of the longest singles ever witnessed on the playing field. During a softball game a friend playing the outfield...
...for the opposing team nearly threw me out on a three hopper.
From center field.
And to be honest I would have been out had the first baseman not been in a bit of shock that not only was the ball coming his way but there was to be a play on it so he dropped it.
When the running craze hit in the 70’s most of my friends and acquaintances either got into it or at the very least gave it a try and did a couple 5k’s.
Not here. Never even gave it a passing thought.
One time a runner guy I knew told me if I went out and ran with him for 2 weeks I’d be hooked on it. I told him if I had a choice between doing that and being dragged behind a car over broken glass I’d ask how far the car had to go.
Suddenly finding myself in my mid 60’s (Truth. I was like, 46 or so one day and the next morning I woke up and bam! there I was getting every senior discount in existence without even being asked if I qualify) and in need of getting in some semblance of shape I started going back to the gym last year, took a 6 month sabbatical when N3 was launched then returned to do some weights and walking.
Primarily walking because I prefer movement that actually covers ground (albeit in circles) to stationary stuff.
An earlier column chronicled my personal training sessions at Tamarac with Marissa who helped guide me toward a routine that has continued to this day both at the gym and at home. This has resulted in an increase in strength stamina, and a general feeling of well being. All good stuff when it comes to opening a new jar of pickles or keeping up with Lil when she goes on a non stroll walk with a purpose
But then one day a few weeks ago after rowing, squatting, doing the weights, and even performing the hated floor stuff, I found myself walking the track and thinking to myself “I wonder if I can still run?”
I mean not that I ever could run well or anything but I always knew I could run if I had to. After all, I still brag that I won the last fight I was in by 6 blocks.
So, at the very end of the facility and blocked from the rest of the gym I ran about 20 strides. A bit tentatively and cautiously due to being afflicted with lousy feet and having become unfamiliar with the action itself but it was almost a real run.
“Man it’s been awhile,” I thought and my legs heartily agreed.
But it didn’t stop.
Quietly I began running just a bit here and there. Mostly at the gym and some at home or the occasional park and never very far but run I did.
Then one day recently Lil was doing her weight class and I got there later, worked out then started on the track switching from walking to running each lap.
When her class ended she gave me a bit of a quizzical look.
“Were you running?” she said in the same tone as she might use in asking me if I just flew off the roof.
“Uh, yeah a little bit.”
“Really?,” she said with more than a hint of surprise despite having seen it with her own eyes. “Are you planning on running a race?”
“No. I just figured if there was ever a situation when I might need to run that it might be important to know way ahead of time if I can still do it, right?”
“Well, I might not win my next fight by 6 blocks like I once could but with a little more practice I might be able to take the guy by 2 or 3.”
"The trouble with jogging is that by the time you realize you're not in shape for it, it's too far to walk back." -Franklin Jones
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