The Crappy Poet

I'm a twenty-something edging past newlywed and new dog owner. I run, write, I work. What else is there besides the struggle to overcome all of that and make something of myself...

2.02.2006

I Must be Getting Old

Despite the fact that it's now 2006, it feels like just last spring my best friend and I were students frequenting the gym at the University of Oklahoma and beginning to run the campus square again after the last freeze of the winter. We would run a 2 mile square around campus 3 times a week, right after 30 minutes at the gym, and 2 days a week, we ran 4 miles.

Our motivation, and hence, our indication of how well we were doing was counted in honks. Car honks. We would count each time a car honked at us as they drove by, hopefully because they thought we were hot, and not because we wandered into traffic. I would come home and talk to friends or a boyfriend on the phone, and they would ask how was your run? I would say something like, Okay, we got 3 honks. Or Great! We got 6 honks! If girls honked at us, they counted for two. We never paid that much attention to our time, because we only had to look like we were going fast. We agreed that runners got more honks than joggers did.

Eventually we moved off-campus, and although we continued to run, we didn't count honks anymore. The absence of oversexed college guys made running in a regular neighborhood somewhat less accomplished. So eventually we quit counting. But we never stopped noting that still, sometimes a passer by was moved to action by the fact that we were not fat. (How much else can you really tell about a person while passing them 40 mphmph?) That never escaped me.

Until the other day (years later) when I was enjoying a nice 5 mile run in the University area (of a different campus in a different state, but again, oversexed college students + someplace to drive = honking at girls). I sailed along, feeling energetic due to a laundry list of items to mull over in my head and some new tunes on the mp3, and then, HONK!

Did I smile and wave like a dewy starlet who has just been recognized for the first time? Did I wink and speed up to superhuman pace just to show off? Did I toss my flowing locks and ignore them? Did I flip them off for being sexist pigs? NO.

I leaped into the air mid-stride in abject terror, and came down and rolled my duck-footed ankle. That's right. Over the same honk I once coveted and knew exactly how to return. And now? I fall down in the dirt and twist my ankle in fear. You don't have to know how old I am to know that it means I'm getting old.

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