Friday, January 14, 2005

Chapter Two: In Which Our Heroine Reveals Her Past

Okay, first of all, we will be ignoring any name-calling from impatient readers. Your questions, dear porcupines, as to the how and why and where of this marathon will get answered. But first, for you to really appreciate what’s going on here, you need some more background. Today we will have a brief account of my history with running.


The end.

Hah! AH HA HA HA! Oh, I slay myself, really.

Actually, there’s quite a bit more to the story. First you have all the very quotable things I have said in the past. What, you don’t all have your copies of Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations marked on all the pages with my quotes? Well, let me help you out.

Overheard during the elementary school Presidential Fitness tests:
“I don’t mind exercise, but I hate running.”

Overheard in my Middle School locker room:
“Running is fine if it’s got a purpose, like when you’re playing a sport or something. But god, just running for running’s sake? I can’t think of anything more pointless and boring.”

Overheard some other time:
“I use the elliptical machine at the gym. It is SO much better than running on the treadmill. God, I HATE running.”

Of course, there were what I like to call the Winter Track years. According to New York State rules (at least at the time), high school juniors and seniors could be exempted from one quarter of the yearly gym requirement if they played a varsity sport. There was also a nifty corollary to that rule which stated that upperclassmen could not be on the junior varsity teams, regardless of athletic ability or experience in the sport. So all I had to do was convince a coach to let me join a team, and I could get out of a full quarter of gym class. Gorgeous.

In my two seasons on the winter track team, I competed in exactly two meets. I ran the 50m dash (easy, it was over in less than 15 seconds, even for slow-poke me) and did the high jump (at the first meet, my last place finish was good enough for a medal!). I missed so many practices my senior year that the coach (very passive-aggressively, I might add) told the gym teacher that I hadn’t fulfilled my varsity sport requirement, and I ended up having to make up the gym classes later that year.

Do I sound like the Michael Phelps of marathon-running or what?

(On a complete tangent, I’d like to point out that if I wanted to, I could make my history sound completely different. For instance, I was a three-sport athlete: volleyball in the fall, track in the winter, soccer in the spring. And on top of that, the volleyball program in my town won the state championship, and my soccer team went undefeated for two years. Of course, some key details missing from that telenovela: I was on the volleyball and soccer teams in 8th grade, and only for that year. The 8th grade volleyball team, unlike the JV and Varsity teams, was dismally bad, and we won only a single game that entire season. And the JV soccer team was fabulous, but the coach thought I was so bad, he questioned my basic knowledge of the sport—“Do you understand what a fullback does? You’re supposed to STOP the offense from scoring goals. You get between them and the goal, and you STOP them. Does that make any sense?” And you’ve already heard what my track experience was like. I’m just saying though, be glad for my unswerving dedication to complete honesty. Because I could be feeding you a very different version of the truth.)

Parenthetical tangents aside, my friends could be forgiven for thinking that a marathon would be the very last thing I would want to do. But I’m ornery like that.

More to come.


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