My stepson and I went on a bike ride together on Monday of this week. It must be said here that I am what some have called a "gearhead". I have all the bells and whistles...sweat-wicking jerseys, cool new Lake shoes, a Garmin 305 with cadence sensor, a beautiful, stealthy matt-black Giant OCR machine, and credit cards for easy access to post-ride refreshment. The boy chooses to ride, despite the fact that I have built him a sleek, similar-to-mine, stealthy, aluminum bicycle, an old, steel Univega 12 speed, that doesn't even have a "granny gear" that would give him, at least, the option of going uphill without pushing his heartbeat into the "danger, danger, Will Robinson" zone. He also rides in jeans, a button-up regular shirt, and battered running shoes. To other "serious" cyclists, he probably looks like a "dork".
The difference between the two is that...only one of them gives a flyin' rat's patooty about the dork label. This got me to thinking about those of us who run...long...and slow.
Perhaps you read it. There was a recent article in the New York Times about whether or not us "plodders" belong in official marathon events. For your perusal, that stoopid piece of drivel is here. I have toyed with responding to this piece of crap but, thankfully, do not have to. My friend Jewelz has done so, with eloquence. I can add nothing more to what she has posted here...after she mastered the NYC Marathon course, slowly...but SURELY, earlier this month. Then, out of the blue, my friend Kari struck similar notes in her most recent blog post, when she spoke of just getting out there when you feel like... just getting out there.
The way this stuff played out? My bike shop customer ended up buying his "dorky" stem. Despite my near-pathological aversion to ever being called a "salesman", I convinced him to take this health-improving little piece of hardware home for his own physical good. I thoroughly expect a "thumbs up" report from him soon, despite of what his "friends" may say. My stepson pretty much mapped out our ride course on Monday, and it included some serious hills. Despite my "gear", he kicked my butt. I am glad he waited for me at the top. Because he did, I sprang for the "afters" .
And then, there's this. If anyone of you out there is dreaming of running a marathon, but thinking you just can't commit, because you'll be slow, or your friends or family, or both, won't get it, or they'll think you're NUTZ...or that you won't be considered a serious runner because you walked a bit, or took a bit "too long", NONE OF THAT MATTERS.
For those of you training for your first marathon (my favourite people on the planet)...good on 'ya! It's a big deal, no matter how long you take. It's about the distance, and your resolve...not about the time. It's NOT about looking "cool" when you cross the finish line. You probably won't. I never have.