I had a flashback to my childhood today. It wasn’t pretty. I flipped on the Olympics after getting back from my morning run, expecting to see something fun. I was treated to women’s mountain biking… Perfect!
Then it happened – in the middle of the race NBC cut to coverage of… Rhythmic Gymnastics?! Good God it was horrible! All at once, memories of my mother guarding the tv clicker like a hawk to watch Rhythmic Gymnastics more than 30 years ago! That very well could have been the most traumatic experience of my preteen years, having to sit through that. Now kids, we didn’t have much in the way of video games way back then and the only phone available had a pig-tail chord attached to it and plugged into the wall – and you sure as hell couldn’t play a game on it. When mom wanted to watch Rhythmic Gymnastics, better labeled dancing with balls, sticks and a long freaking ribbon (and a stick), we were stuck playing Clue or watching…that!
I never realized just how much that scarred me until my eyes fell on that heavily made-up woman rolling around on the ground looking longingly…at a ball. Then the commentator called the…ball an apparatus and the horrific flashback was complete. The world started spinning, the edges fading to a bright white. I thought to myself, “nooooo, don’t go to the light!”
My eldest daughter, God bless her, brought me back from the brink. Her voice, tinny and distant, called to me, “Father, what, pray tell, is this”? Nah, she just asked, “Dad, what is this “? I said, “junk” and quickly turned the channel to hand ball.
Man, that was a close call!
We’re in the middle of our third straight day of rain. It’s cool, 65 degrees, with a steady, misty rain. Terrible weather for a bike ride, but great weather for a run.
I haven’t gone for a run in more than a month so it felt really good to pound my legs a little bit. I started out slow with a couple of buddies… The first mile at 9:07, the second at 8:47 – not where I wanted to be. I stepped it up a bit for three – Marc had split off to do a longer run and I hoped my buddy Jeff would pick it up with me… I checked over my shoulder mid-way through that mile and saw him struggling to hang on so for the second time I turned around to pick him back up but when I got back to him he said not to bother waiting up so I got right back on the gas. That mile was at 8:37. I followed that with another 8:37 before I started getting an itch to move out. My last three were 8:06, 8:04 and 8:12 (2 decent hills).
If I was being silly I could complain about the slow time but the reality is I was a touch burned out on running after all those years and I just needed the break from it to pursue cycling and mountain biking. That said, it was really nice to get out and run again.