A sweaty handshake, the bear and true royalty

So, unfortunately, I’ve developed a case of severe writer’s block mixed with laziness and procrastination. A deadly mix, if I do say so myself. If it’s solved in a similar way to hiccups, I’ll be fine. I’ll just see if holding my breath throughout typing this does anything. Have some paramedics on standby, please. Anyway, today I would like to talk about running and why I keep doing it even though I suck. This can be like a pseudo seminar telling you that you can achieve. YOU’VE JUST GOT TO BELIEVE. Are you convinced that you can do anything, as long as you put your mind to it? Okay, great! That will be 29.99 euros and we’ll call it a day.

First, I think it’s worthwhile drawing attention to my disposition. The Chinese call it, ‘Five seconds of passion’ but they say it in Chinese, of course. It basically means that you pick something up for a couple of days and do absolutely crazy things to make it work and then drop it like you never really liked it at all. That’s basically me. Writing, streaming, poetry, you name it, really. I, funnily enough, had a blog before this on Tumblr which I may one day leak to you. Let’s just say it was an amateur short story blog and leave it at that for now. Anyway, I had dropped running like a hot potato and I actually had reasons this time. Firstly, I was terrible. Well, I thought I was terrible. I seriously think this way because of one race where I vomited halfway through. Traumatic. Maybe a hint of Drama Queen, also. Secondly, the team I was working with consisted of eight to twelve-year-olds. Now, there can be a case made for beating kids at races being fun but I wasn’t feeling it. My real problem was that some of them were actually beating me. Now, there is nothing that feels worse than that. So, away to early retirement I went!

Until, quite recently. It all started on a Wednesday when I just felt like being the most annoying person in the world. Wednesdays had always been patchy for Sam and I, which is why we invented an ingenious solution. The Day Reset. Basically, we shake hands for an uncomfortably long time and talk really quietly about how we’re going to do things differently. It usually attracts some looks but I habitually do enough strange things on a school day to make it seem normal. All about those mind games. On this day in particular, however, the reset button seemed to be jammed. Or I was just committed to being a douche? Probably that. The third time we shook hands that day wasn’t for a reset or a desperate deal. This was the beginning of a feud. This was the beginning of the ‘True Prince’ competition. Now, Sam had already anointed himself as the ‘Maths King’ that month so I wasn’t going to let him be a prince on top of that. I’ll never be sure why he chose the competition to involve running. This wasn’t any run of the mill, pansy challenge either. This competition was whoever could run one hundred miles first won. I can smash two miles, why not a bit more? I thought as I keyed in the details to start the race. Now, Sam wasn’t the most prominent competitor that I could have faced. I did some reconnaissance and found out the following things. Firstly, his running posture resembled a bear with a tendency to run on two legs. This information was courtesy of someone who lives near him. I will protect your identity anonymous hero so that you don’t have an angry bear bashing your door in. Secondly, he’s extremely competitive and will

‘crawl the whole thing on an I.V. if he has to’,

which I found out after was only partly true.  Reggie only wanted a good competition and some cheap entertainment. You’ll make a good T.V. show host one day, Reggie. Thirdly, I noticed that he went to the gym a lot and probably wouldn’t be able to support his upper body weight. There’s no way I can lose, I thought as I ran out of my driveway that night.

So, you can probably guess how crushed I was when I came back from that run that night seeing that he had run a mile more than me. I knew that the underdogs always won but I didn’t think it would happen anywhere near as fast as that. However, I knew the ‘I.V. prophecy’ was coming true because the next day  he ran nine miles in one day. To put it into perspective, I hadn’t run over four miles in my whole running career and here this new guy was ripping up the road and my enthusiasm at the same time. So, naturally, I came back stronger but, again and again, was put down by this runner who should be wearing a nappy in an athlete’s eyes. At mile twenty, I found out another dirty secret. He was jogging. Now, for some reason, I have a pet peeve against jogging and didn’t allow him to get away with it. I immediately sent a strongly worded text to him which he just deflected. Of course, if you can’t beat ’em join ’em so I went against every fibre of my being and started to jog. I should really think about writing a novel about my views on jogging because my guess is most people will agree with me. ‘Jogging [as bad as logging or flogging]’ should hit a store near you soon. Anyway, the halfway point was reached and that’s when it happened. Not because of me, of course… I swear I did nothing! Sam dropped out of the competition. That bear running style had brought him down like a bear trap snapping ’round his ankle. All I had left before me was fifty miles of open road and a limping bear to meekly cheer me on [ or ignore me. Mostly that ].

That leads me up to today, finishing my one hundred miles and feeling great. This story, like all stories, had a happy ending too [ please don’t refer back to my previous work ]. Teary eyed, we held each other shaking, telling each other that we were both brilliant and not to believe anything anyone said. Okay, only part of that happened. What really happened was, he texted me ‘congrats’ and I, being the truest, most generous prince promoted him to being a prince too. Then we held each other in a teary embra- I’ll leave that for the fan fictions. Of course, from now on I’m going to take running to the extreme. I was actually planning on starting a Pegan diet. Back to my roots. Get it because it’s a caveman diet and you also eat roots! I’ll see myself out …

~Matt

 

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