Young and foolish

Monday, December 5, 2011

At the Santa Hustle, there were mostly adult runners. I saw a few children sprinkling the course, but for the most part, it was adults. 

This entry is not about the adults. It's about those kid runners... the ones who make it look effortless and easy and fun. 

Have you seen the Friends episode where Phoebe and Rachel go running together? Rachel is perfectly poised with good form -- head lifted, shoulders back, arms naturally swinging. Phoebe runs like a little kid -- flailing body parts, kicking her legs around, head bobbing. Rachel is mortified by her partner. 

Guess which one has the smile on her face. 

This August, I ran the Tour de La Porte 5K with some of my friends. My friend Roberta, her daughter Bailey, and her friend Anna drove me to the race. We all started together, and the girls took off in a mad dash. Around a half mile in, I caught up to them and gave them a few words of encouragement as I passed. When the race was over, I went back to the start to eat delicious treats. I found Berta there, and she and I ate breakfast, chatted, and waited on the girls and the winner announcements. We'd been back for ten minutes... twenty minutes... thirty minutes... still no girls. I asked Berta if we should be worried. After all, it wasn't a closed course, and we were running on roads with cars. Berta told me they were fine, and we continued to wait. Finally, about 45 minutes later, the girls showed back up. Berta asked, "What took you guys so long?" Bailey answered, "Oh. We stopped to throw rocks in the lake."

Duh. Why haven't I ever done that during a race?

There's something so cute about kid runners. Maybe it's the fact that they will sprint at full speed for a half mile and then walk for 200 feet and then start sprinting again. Maybe it's the fact that they can turn around and run backwards while talking to their parents and STILL run fast. Maybe it's the fact that despite having legs half the size of everyone else's, they just bob along with the rest of us. Or maybe it's the fact that they never look winded or tired, like I KNOW I do.  

Sometimes, I think it'd be really nice to be a kid runner. Or, at least capture that kid runner mentality. 


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