When I was in Elementary school, it was all about routine. We would come to class, learn how commas work, head to music or PE, then lunch and recess. Once we arrived on the playground, the playground politics would begin.The lucky few who were able to get a rubber ball would begin entertaining offers, the child with the best offer eventually earning the right to a game of four-square. The kids with no chance at a ball would head to the rejected rusty jungle gyms and swings, the ghettos of the playground.
For two of my classmates, their recess was occupied by something far different. Everyday, these fifth graders would spend their thirty minutes outside running. They would run and run, circling around the soccer field, through the trees, behind the basketball goals, and back to the soccer fields. It was strange, these two individuals avoiding the fun of life for this, an activity with no ball, without even rusty metal.
I have not kept up with these individuals, but I would bet one thing. They areare both one of those marathon-running weirdos.
It’s not that there is something wrong with running. I can run a couple miles without dying. I honestly wish I had the dedication for a marathon. My attention, however, is more dedicated to my Netflix account and my couch. I have no time for foolish thing like physical fitness.
My sister-in-law deserves a great amount of credit for finishing a marathon today. She didn’t even die or anything. While watching, though, I began to feel ridiculous.
As I stood at the finish, I watched people trot by, celebrating their biggest physical accomplishment in life. I watched a few dozen go by in half an hour, standing against the rail. After a while, I started to feel tired of standing and began to glance around for a bench.
In marathons, I have noticed three finishing tactic. Most people stretch out their arms as if they have won the Olympic gold. Others begin to sprint, the thought being that they should finish as quickly a possible. Lastly are the people who look like they are about to collapse, their faces drooping, legs wobbling, arms sort of flailing about as if independent from the rest of their body. With each one of these runners, I was fully prepared for their collapse.
Regardless of the finishing style, they had run 26.2 miles. Meanwhile, I was ready to bail from the act of standing after a mere 30 minutes. If there was a medal for participating in standing, I wouldn’t have even been close to qualifying. At least I wouldn’t have had there been a bench nearby.
There I stood for what might have been 10 minutes or might have been a week. All I could think about was the lack of a bench nearby. My mind was flooded with thoughts of all of the places I had sat in my life. I continued standing, powering through like a standing champ.
Around midway, I didn’t think I would make it. All of the great standers talk about hitting the standing wall. I hit it hard. I couldn’t stop standing, though. I had no choice. Well, I could have collapsed into a pile on the ground, but that seemed like a bad choice. For a brief minute, I thought about hiring a pedicab nearby just for the chance to sit, but in the end I persevered.
When I saw her come around that corner, I felt that same rush that all of those runners must have felt. I had done it! I wanted to pump my fists and cheer as I headed towards the car to leave. If anyone was a great stander, it was me. Sure, I may be sore tomorrow, but someday I can tell my kids about the time I stood for a long time.
I really need to exercise more often…