I smiled and I got up to go
I was hoping for a goodbye to hold
But it was kinda like touching a ghost
So I ran when I walked out
— the prophet larkin
He’s waiting in the closet.
A Bill Rodgers singlet back in the days when Bill Rodgers was Bill Rodgers, when running was easy, when Diet Coke was Tab, when squirrel’s nut butter was vaseline, when I knew what I was doing.
I don’t know what happened to the old singlet. I guess it’s next to my Dead Hot T-shirt and my Marmot jacket and the lost dreams of my youth and all the other stuff I seem to have lost over the years. But this one showed up by accident, 40 years old and brand new.
I now have a perfect reproduction of my old singlet and my Nike Waffle Trainers, the originals of which were lost in an unfortunate canoe mishap in Kerrville. Cross training is overrated.
Now all I need is to find my heart. The prophet Ani’s words bounce around in my head.
I wonder if everything I do
I do instead
Of something I want to do more
The question fills my head
And I know there’s no grand plan here
This is just the way it goes…
I wonder. Will I ever run again, or am I just building a little shrine to the old days? I ran my first race in May 1979. Coming up on 41 years. Is that enough?
I ran the Ed loop this morning and thought about Mr. Whitlock. Little one-third mile loops, over and over. Why did he do it?
I’m not sure there’s an answer. I’m not sure there’s even a question. Four decades of getting up every damn day, looking at the thermometer, ingesting caffeine, thinking of my life as Running, and then some other stuff after that. Repeat as necessary.
Of course, the singlet doesn’t understand all that. He just waits quietly in the running closet, hoping he gets to come out and play someday.
So do I.