Sunday

Running for the First Time

I'm a happy person by nature and I want to stay that way. But I do have a slight taste of depression at times. (Chemical imbalance, I'm told.) So far, running has been the only anti-depression pill that I care to take. Writing controversial articles also helps, and keeping busy with other things, like enjoying Sugar. These are the big helps that should keep me floating through the rest of my life gracefully.

I've been running for years, about six miles every other day when possible. Only time will tell how long.

I am, more or less, running in the back of the pack and it shows me that all runners are equal. Only our times of making it to the finish line are different. It is also teaching me one of the many things I have learned from running, and that is how to deal with age. For one thing, running has put age beyond denial. I am finally old.

It was 1975 when a lot of us took up running for the first time. That was when the Davenport Pioneer Day put on their well-published 'Run for Fun'. (A five miler.) I was not prepared to run, but a half-hour before the race Sugar came up to me and said she was disappointed that I didn't want to run. I then became conscious there were some disadvantages to being married to a younger woman who figures I can be cranked up any time. I did have time enough to run home (by car) and exchange my formal shorts for something more comfortable to run in.

Some of us hadn't learned then to treat our feet to shoes that were made for running. A rookie ran in shoes that were made for lumberjacks. My canvas slip-ons kept slipping off every time I spread my legs out too far. Finally I spotted some tissue paper along the roadside which I put to good use as shoe stuffing. That smart idea finally got me to the finish line with my shoes on.

When running was in the experimental stage, a workout down the highway would cause cars to stop and ask if we needed help or a lift. Even the State Patrol would check on us to ask if any assistance was needed. To solve those early running problems, we started wearing shorts and began taking on the face of runners. Good hearted folks didn't bother to stop anymore.

Yes, time has changed. Now it's hard to get anyone to stop. Even when my feet got themselves tangled up, causing my head to hit the pavement. With glasses broken and blood coming from my face, no one would stop. Finally neighbor, Karen Cole, came by and saw that I got back home.

"Running a Way of Life" Kik-Backs No. 3, p. 40


"I am finally old."
Cover of Kik-Backs No. 3

Pioneer Days Run

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