Why I Run

When I was young I thought a run
Of any distance more than none
Was quite the opposite of fun,
An exercise to be ignored
If possible. It left me bored.
What was I running from? Or toward?
I recognize the irony:
You rarely see a dog or tree
While swimming. That’s the sport for me?
Like, age-group swimming, in a pool,
Where back and forth (and back’s) the rule
For hours? What am I, a fool?
Well, possibly. It turns out, though,
That swimming up and down a row
Of chlorinated H2O
Cinco días por semana
Slathers running mojo on a
Kid who really doesn’t wanna.
I loathed seventh grade P.E.,
But that was where it came to me:
I learned what fun a run could be.
A fortnight spent on Field and Track
Exposed my fast-twitch muscle lack
In sprints: I finished way, way back.
My classmates jeered, as ‘tweeners will,
About my total lack of skill–
“It’s like you’re falling up a hill!”–
Until the distances increased.
By 800, the teasing ceased,
Then, Mile Day: My turn to feast.
Though far from Ryun-esque, I ran
A full half-minute faster than
The runner-up. I was The Man!
It didn’t last for long: Such cool
Wanes rapidly in middle school
And I was better in the pool,
But thanks to that epiphany
In mean Coach Durland’s period three
P.E. class, who’s a runner? Me.


2 thoughts on “Why I Run

  1. Was it your Fast Mile school year that you finished the 20 mile “Walk for Mankind” at 3:20? We ambled when in sight of your schoolmates, we dashed ahead when we were out of their sight. Later we heard of the Finns and Fartlek!

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