Monday, October 10, 2011
I have come to believe there are more joggers and runners in Lafayette-West Lafayette per square mile than anywhere in the country. Maybe I’m just noticing them a lot more since my quest to run in the Turkey Trot and my longing, “I wish I was them.”
My hamstring still has me slowed to the point of light treadmill jogging, but everyday I walk on campus – whether it’s the morning time, walking to the Memorial Union for lunch, or even after work on the weekend – I see numerous joggers and runners in their own little world.
I decided Sunday that, “I don’t wish to be them. I am them!” Knowing full good well about my fragile state, I took off from my Fourth Street apartment determined to jog as much of my usual walking route as possible. It didn’t take me long, well before I reached South Street, that my hamstring talked me out of it.
“Whoa, where are YOU going?” it seemed to be saying as pain darted up the back of my right thigh. “Did I give you permission to do this? Why do you want to be like THEM? I guess if they were running off the Wabash River bridge, you’d want to run off it, too?”
Needless to say, I walked the rest of the route, pretty discouraged. After clearing The Hill, to Five Points and returning downtown on Main Street, I saw a couple heading my way. They were doing a couples’ jog, surely a way of bonding with each other in the morning, and again, I had that warm, “I wish I was them” feeling return. That was until these running snobs told me to get the heck out of their way.
“Excuse me! A little room here,” the man said as they tried to whisk past me. Hey, who gave the running snobs a permit to the runner’s parade? I know I’m a little overweight, but I wasn’t taking up the whole sidewalk. And even if that was the case, does “single file” mean anything to you? Too good to share the walkway with us slower folks?
So much for the “I wish I was them” feeling. By this point, I was trying to think of a way I could trip both of them and escape down an alley as they passed by. My hurt hamstring would slow my escape. Let’s nix that idea.
Now, my wonderful Washington D.C. lobbyist daughter would have called this “hating” and I don’t want to be a hater, so I chilled. They passed me unfettered. One day I won’t have to submit to the, “a little room please” taunts of these nose-in-the-air, too-good-for-walkers kind of snots.
I made a beeline to Wal-Mart to find sports wrap and a reusable icepack for my hamstring in hopes to speed up the healing process. I approached the pharmacist for advice, telling her I was jogging and hurt myself and she gave me this look of skepticism.
“What happened big boy, lose a race to the buffet line,” her eyes seemed to say as I explained my situation. She just frowned, pointed to an aisle and pretty much left me standing there looking dumb, which was probably wasn't too hard to do at this stage. By this time, I was pretty much feeling like Rodney Dangerfield: I get no respect at all.
“My running’s so bad, the police tried to arrest me on my last jog for indecent exposure.”
“My running’s so bad, strangers would ask if I needed a lift just to get me to stop.”
“On Halloween, parents would tell their children to run like me to each house.”
“I took out a subscription to Runner’s World. They sent me a note back asking, ‘why?’ ”
This running thing isn’t getting any easier.