When I was a kid I could burn rubber. I was a pipsqueak like Grubby. I dominated in elementary school football. Country schools have playgrounds about a quarter mile wide and we didn't have good knowledge of what was out of bounds was. Give me the ball run a 100 yards left and turn up field. I was Leroy Kelly in my head who had replaced Jim Brown. A hard act to follow, but Leroy is in The Hall...you could look it up.
In essence this is where it all began. The distance didn't matter; I felt competitive at all distances. I think I'd have been a good half miler, but we had guys there in high school. Good guys not chumps. It was kind of a raw deal because I had to train like a Manimal to get the occasional point or two at the big meets. What I didn't understand at the time was the people I ran against had history. They had programs. Big trophies in the cases. I had the run down to the Mill and back and do a few wind sprints.
Looking back I wouldn't have it any other way. I had to figure stuff out myself. Along the way I became a runner. Just another guy trying to rub a few sticks together to get a little fire going. A running bum. I'd run thousands of miles for just one good day. All stuff I've said before, but true.
A couple days ago I went on a rare evening run at home. I left the house in the dress soxs and white cotton T and a group of kids mocked me. I ignored them. I did look like a 50 some year old hobby jogger barely moving. About a dozen miles later on the way back I was laying wood. Close to home, close to 6:30 pace with white T in my hand. Felt invincible. Same kids looked at me and it just came out. "It would take three of you just to tear my picture in half." Not the most popular Dad in these parts.