Friday, July 05, 2019

The reluctant runner

I have never been an overly athletic person. This is not to say that I don't attempt athletic things, I'm just not particularly good at them. One of the few "C" grades I ever received was in 7th grade Physical Education. Part of it was that PE involved running a great deal and I have always been of the mind that a human shouldn't run unless they are being chased by a wild animal.

I did go out for various sports in junior high. I was on the 7th grade wrestling team but never won a match. I played intramural volleyball. I played basketball in 8th grade but was on the 5th quarter team. We only played after the regulation four quarters were over. They threw in the extra quarter so we got an opportunity to actually play. No one stayed to watch us however. Even the cheerleaders packed up when we were playing.

I was on the tennis team in 9th grade. But again, I don't think I ever won a game.

I was also on the Junior Varsity Quiz team in 9th grade and I was president of the chess club, but those don't count as athletics.

I had to take PE again my sophomore year in high school. I got an "A" grade in it because the instructor believed in grading on effort not skill. I didn't go out for any sports, but I was in the marching band and was the drum major my junior and senior years.

I didn't do much athletically my first few years in college. When I moved to Seattle to finish my education, I did participate in intramural volleyball again.

After college I played tennis occasionally. I also played on my office softball team. But I pretty much sucked at baseball. I blew out my ankle trying to slide into third base. I got the "Rodney Danger-in-the-field, I deserve no respect" award that year at the end of the year party.

I did manage a work volley ball league for a few years.

When I was around 30, I started doing aerobics classes. I gave those up by the time I was in my mid-40s and then just used elliptical equipment and treadmills at athletic clubs. That's pretty much where I am today.

The reason I bring this all up is that I did a 5K race yesterday for the 4th of July. It was the Edmond's Beat Brackett 5K. George Brackett was the man who founded the city of Edmonds back in the 1800s. The Chamber of Commerce came up with this gimmick a few years ago to have fairly good runner don a fake beard (the guy on the left above) to look like George Brackett and have people try to beat him in the 5K.

Okay, I actually done about eleven 5k's in the past ten years or so, including maybe five Beat Bracketts. I have never beaten Brackett. I am content to just complete the race and get a t-shirt (though this year's t-shirt was a god-awful pink thing).

I used to think being in a 5K was a big thing. Turns out it is just 3.1 miles and doesn't really mean much to a real runner. They like half marathons and marathons.

I have no desire to enter into anything that has the word marathon in the title.

I am not really sure why I do these 5K's. I still don't like to run. My wife says it set a good example for my children. But they don't seem to notice I do them. No one is there to watch me at the finish line.

So maybe I just do it to get back at my 7th grade PE teacher Mr. Ackley for giving me a "C" because I sucked at running and sit-ups.

Or maybe I just do it for the free t-shirts (just not that sucky pink one I got yesterady."

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