(8) Just Me Marathon: Back in the Day (3/7)

“I challenge myself to stop comparing what I learn to the past.” Scott Belsky

Those high school cross-country legs
Weren’t much for running.
The mind rationalized yet another bad idea
Suggesting that running miles on trails
Might somehow impress the college basketball coaches.
Tough runs through a vacant William and Mary
In the cheese cloth air of an August afternoon
Proved to be the sign that the effort
Would have not effect
On the recruiting of my hoop playing abilities.
A few weeks later,
My cross country career was over,
Flaming out in a drizzle on a run to Mooretown Road.

A comfortable, climate controlled run
Shield from the August heat of southeastern Pennsylvania
With legs barely trained for a 5K,
Who in their stupidity are following an ego straight around a track
To see if the will to “do” is more palpable
Than the will to quit.
Kids play basketball on the court below,
The steps I take add up little by little
Until distance stops a journey
Letting the challenge end with so much as a whimper.
There’s no crowd to cheer, no coach to divert eye contact from,
Just a satisfaction that is hard to explain,
A knowing that comes with doing something hard,
Doing something worth being done…even if just for me.

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