OK, I know all six of you who read this blog religiously have been wondering when I’m finally going to go to the gym. Well … I haven’t done it yet. However, a couple days ago I went out and exercised, dammit.
Back during the dark days of Milli Vanilli and New Kids On the Block I was a distance runner. I was on the cross country team in fall and on the track team in spring. Although I never seriously contended for any sort of championship, I was a fairly decent athlete who usually finished in the middle of the pack in varsity races and in the top 10 in JV races. I was also a hell of a lot thinner back then.
Note the awesome “Flying T” uniforms of the day.
I was pretty hardcore about running, too. During the season I’d run up to seven miles in a single practice. That’s a little over 11 K for you metric types. During the off-season and in summer I’d occasionally compete in community “fun runs.” I never ran anything real intense like the Rim2Rim in the 2T or Robie Creek here in Boise. I might have had I not lost interest in the whole deal during my senior year.
Nevertheless, the experience earned me the enduring symbol of the musclehead jock: the varsity letter. I lettered twice in cross country, once in track, and once in, um … debate. I still have the jacket, even though I haven’t worn it in years. For one thing, people my age really shouldn’t wear such things in public. For another, it doesn’t fit anymore anyway.
Anyway, where the hell was I? Oh yes, exercise. Some two decades later my fat ass decided to reprise an old cross country workout known as wind sprints. Cross country workouts were usually conducted on the 2T’s country roads. Since these roads are laid out in a grid system with an intersection every mile, it’s easy to judge how far you’ve run. Like most country roads, they’re lined with telephone poles at fairly regular intervals.
As far as the 2T cross country coaches were concerned, wind sprints worked as follows. From a starting point one walked to the next telephone pole, then ran at their 5K pace to the next pole, then sprinted to the next, then repeated the process. This typically went on for three to four miles and possibly preceded and/or followed a traditional practice run.
Not quite a 2T rural road, but you get the idea.
Being old and fat I adjusted the workout a bit. I replaced the 5K run pace with a power walk, conducted my wind sprints to the suburban Central Bench (where the telephone poles are closer together than out in the sticks), and limited myself to one mile. It felt like a good four-miler back in the day, but I completed the task with minimal embarrassment.
Maybe next time I’ll wear the right damn shoes too.
Image credit: jacob earl
I’m going to the 2T for the weekend tomorrow. Perhaps I’ll do some more wind sprints there. Not at the old practice venues, however. I don’t need another ambulance ride.