I hate running. It’s the absolute worst – it makes me sweat and gasp for breath and I’m NEVER fast enough. People who run for fun, or sport, or to “feel good” or whatever – I will never understand you. Unfortunately, I have significant experience in running, not because I ever wanted to, mind you, but because I have been in so many situations where I’ve had to catch something.
The first time I realized how much I hate running was one of the thousands of times I was late for the bus to school. The bus stop was right down the street from my house, and the bus driver was always tickled by any chance she got to drive right past me as I stood yelling at the end of my driveway – shoes untied, hair un-brushed, completed homework still sitting on the coffee table.
This particular time, I was determined not to give her this satisfaction. So, in my usual late-and-pissed-off state, I bolted down my driveway, (which was a large and steep dirt hill, by the way), but didn’t make it all the way down without eating some dirt, of course. I had to have fallen at least three times on the way down the street – never successfully completing a perfect somersault however hard I tried – eyes focused on the idle bus at the corner, daring it to drive past me now.
My classmates clapped wildly as I made my way to my usual spot in the back, which was both mean and funny of them.
I know that it’s not fair to blame the act of running for my lateness and untied shoes. However, I’ve had plenty of unpleasant running experiences while my shoes were tied. I chased my dog Tillie when she ran away about once a month, and pages 13-48 of my script for Our Town when I was a senior in high school and FINALLY got the lead in the spring play. I chased a few baseballs when they were hit toward my post in left field, and when there weren’t any baseballs to catch, I was being chased by lots and lots of mosquitoes.
Most of my attempts to catch things by running after them were unsuccessful.
So I’d like to use this time to inform all of you that I have given up running.
I’d also like to inform all of you of our Literary Flash Mob this Saturday, September 13!