I am so happy to be mediocre! I have this excellent skill at running in the middle of the pack and you know what that means? Less likely to get culled from the herd!! I’m quite the erratic person. I run too fast at the beginning. I work too hard in the morning. I get nervous around three quarters way through the day thinking I’ll never make it. I get scared and walk up the hills. I think I’m going to have a heart attack. Then I plan to duck out but I never do because I was raised Catholic and I’m married to whatever I’m doing until I die. So I wind up finishing races and careers about even with everyone else.
I just ran three rather painful cross country races. I haven’t run much this summer and probably should run slower but I have been born a middler and here I stay. If there are 200 people running, then I’ll be 100th, 30, then I’m 15th. I’ve always had the feeling like I’m on the brink of good/evil, old/young, talented/bozo, that the gates of hell are closing and I have to be the last one to get through to the other side. That apparently is motivation enough for me despite my lack of training and bad attitude.
My bad attitude grew mightily when a woman my age, who finished after me jumped places in the finish shoot. The gall of her! Okay, so the shoot was a line which was hardly moving which was a quarter of a mile long because all 1000 people seemed to finish within 10 minutes of each other, short race. I body blocked her from pushing past me for about 3 minutes then I thought lets see how far she’ll go. She went about 3 people forward and stopped. I think she was trying to get points for an age level prize or something meritorious like that. She certainly didn’t look like she was hurrying to go to the bathroom or pick up her grand kids.
I was ready to call her out but remembered that this was supposed to be a fun run. The other two people she jumped said nothing. Why was I getting worked up? Wasn’t she just helping me become more mediocre? Was I going to get wiped off the face of the earth because it would not be written down in the book that I was faster than she? Instead I used the passive aggressive card. I turned to the lady behind me and pointed out the line budger. She hadn’t even noticed! I made an angry face and pretended to punch the villain then let it go.
Well, not really. When I saw the finishers listed I checked her name and I know what she looks like. I will be watching and making my life even more miserable. That is something I’m very good at. The pursuit of fairness and of excellence is overrated. Most wonderful things happen because they were fun or serendipitous. For all of you training for the Olympics, I bet you slow down sooner or later. Perfection can’t be maintained so why even try? I am looking forward to the costumed race which comes up before Halloween. I’m going to run as a pirate and jab this lady with my foam rubber sword every chance I get.