Doing it all the hard way...

Thursday, May 26, 2011


I was a competitive runner in high school and college. I continued to run after college and I have completed ten marathons. I won’t even think about attempting any more. When I see Cyclocross courses with tough run ups, a broad smile comes across my face. Two knee surgeries have reduced my running to three to four miles maybe one day a week. Despite all the riding I do, I somehow still see myself as a runner. That belief is so deep rooted that even with running being just a small fraction of my training, I always expect to do well on Cyclocross courses that have a lot of running.

With this perspective I just expect my legs to hold up their end of the bargain. For the second time in as many weeks, I went for a run only to be hobbled by a wicked calf cramp. I look down at my legs in disbelief and wonder what is going on. Come to think of it, when I see my face in the mirror and wonder where all those horizontal cracks in my forehead came from.

Somewhere in a shoe box I have a photo of myself as an eighteen year old sitting on a bench in my running shorts. Although more than thirty years have passed since that photo was taken, when I close my eyes, I still think I am that guy. Then I go for a run and reality manages to get through my denial filter. I guess I should look for a better filter......

1 comment:

bikelovejones said...

I have a similar photo of myself from about age 14. Tall for my age, skinny, with long, wiry arms and legs, tanned to a crisp and standing in a line of snare drummers on drum corps tour. (I am, of course, the only girl.) We are facing a shop window in a parking lot, playing endless paradiddle drills and checking our stick heights as we practice for our eleventh competition in twelve days. No one complains or even whimpers, and no one stops playing. We're all trying to out-tough each other.

Racing has helped me find a bit of that 14-year-old again. I'm not fast anymore, but I'd like to think I've found a way to be that tough again.

When you find your photo, consider sharing it.