Running. And only God knows why.

Here we go again.

“Come on Dave. Sign up.”

It’s a Step Challenge at work.  Voluntary contributions, not tied to step count, benefit a Children’s hearing and seeing charity. The Challenge is two work weeks long, ending yesterday.

Normal humans enroll, walk with colleagues, kid each other on their position in the rankings, go home, kick back and go at it again. All good fun!

Well, there just ain’t anything normal here. Fun? Participation? Bah!

You’ve seen the carrot tied to a stick leading a stubborn mule…the mule plods forward, eyes locked on the prize…dragging one hoof in front of another, puffs of dust misting behind the sorry beast.

While the myth certainly is compelling, haunting even, studies have proven that while the animal is coaxed to move, it won’t move with elongated locomotion.

Well, once again, I’m here to prove that these scientific studies are garbage. (Think Butter was bad. Think Salt was bad.) Some mules will mindlessly chase a carrot, or less.  The prize? None, but for the potential of seeing one’s name on top of a steps leader board.

It’s Friday morning. I’m at least 10,000 to 20,000 steps behind, with 10 hours to go.

20,000 steps = ~ 10 miles.

It’s 5:30 am. It’s dark out. I reach for my sneakers, grab my water bottle and pace the kitchen trying to fire up the reluctant engines. Think Tolstaya’s “cow walking from one dim corner to the other, sighing and treading heavily.”

I haven’t run in months (4 months?). And there’s nothing about this body that is ready for a 10 miler or even half that.

Mile 1: Left foot strikes a pot hole, twists knee, lightening and thunder shoot up the leg, thigh and hip bones.

Mile 2: What’s wrong with finishing in the top 25? Put three miles in. Walk another 1/2 mile. Take a hot shower. That’s not nothing.

Mile 3: Where are the birds? The barking dogs? It’s just me and a White Swan, floating alone on the Upper Pond. Now why can’t that be me? Look at her. Look at me, a squirrel rummaging, scurrying, frantic, cheeks full, running, running, running…

Mile 4: Forgot to apply the anti-chafe Bodyglide. Filament on boobies scraped raw. Hmmmmm.  Recall kids recommendation to explore Man-Bra. Not funny. Not then. Not now. Not at all.

Mile 5: 5 miles is great. Quit. You’re old. Who cares? You’re old. Top 25 is fantastic. You are old. Only bad can come from pushing it.  Stop, walk the rest of the way, and enjoy the beautiful morning. Are YOU nuts? 

Mile 6: Unsettled. Something not right. Can’t put a finger on it. OMG. There it is.  Did I forget my Fitbit tracker? I yank my pullover over my wrist, and smile…there it is, silently counting, counting, counting…. Now that would have been something…

Mile 7:  Left knee is throbbing. Right hip aching. Upper thighs tight. Tips of toes, rubbed raw. And, Oh, Boobies, I’m so sorry. This won’t be good.

I stand in the hot shower letting it massage the aching bones. I look down, my hands are shielding my nipples, a Man-Bra. OMG, I need help.

The steam billows over the curtain as I contemplate the time to shave, dress and beat the I-95 rush hour traffic to the office. How deliciously wonderful it would be to take a nap, right now.

Leader board rankings are not published until Monday.

This is a child on Christmas Eve, giddy with anticipation, watching the clock, watching the hours grind slowly forward. The beast can sniff the carrot within reach.

The White Swan floats back…

Sleep child, sleep. Monday will come soon enough.

Image: Thank you Doug @ Eclecticity Light


  1. No stopping you Mr K! A Legend. Anything is possible when you are trying to prove you are enough. ‘You are a thousand times enough’ already, but no one can convince you of that, can we? 👏😀

    Liked by 3 people

  2. As my kids would say, ‘you’re already a wiener…um, winner…yeah, a winner’. Seriously pal, well done – for whatever the motivation, you are compelled. Now find some good moisturizer.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. A man bra? What’s next, pal, are we gonna hear about your ‘thigh gap?’ That’s ok, I LOVE these running posts, as you know, and your unquenchable thirst for victory is interesting to witness. I’m sure you killed it. Hope you can relax this weekend, and those nipples? Hit ‘em with some Aquaphor… 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  4. There is no lid big enough for the competitiveness in all of us!! Well done. By Monday you won´t even feel the pain.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As long as you gave it your all, that’s what matters… least that’s what I would tell the kids. (It didn’t really make them feel better either if they weren’t on top – guess we know where they got it from).

    Liked by 2 people

  6. “Bodyglide”, ahh I remember who recommended that one to you! You will barely make top 25.. all others will step up their game also. Maybe top 15.. as always fun story telling!! Don’t kill your self this weekend..

    Liked by 1 person

  7. sighing and treading heavily…are we all beasts…maybe donkeys…? But, no animal competes like this, so is this our higher intelligence motivating? causing us to aspire? disastrous…pulled away from the stars? love the book photo–we all partake of insanity, and try to hide it–arent’ we funny!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I don’t know why you torture yourself like this.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. montanalulu says:

    keep on truckin’! ( Me: I’m exhausted. Fitbit: You’ve walked 9 steps today….)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Here I was thinking the classmates in my Watercolour class were over-achievers. Whew…! It’s Saturday. Hate being wrong on Saturdays….

    Liked by 1 person

  11. If you must. Be prepared.
    Amazon has all you need.
    At least in the material world.
    Well written Dave❣️

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Too funny David! That would be me panicking “did I even put the fit bit on?”.
    This post got me thinking though: Can people with nipple rings even run? YIKES.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Can’t stop laughing. Sorry. But reading about the trials and tribulations of an extremely competitive donkey is quite funny. That said, I root for him. He deserves the carrot.


  14. Lordy, David… The things you do to entertain us. No, you *say* it’s because of some doohickey at work, for the kids, yadda, yadda… no… you just needed something to write to us about. Hope those nips have healed…

    I just know I would have done the same… yeah. NO. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  15. My favorite mule, diddling his carrot.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. You really are a nutball.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. 🙂 HERO 🙂
    (Was getting blisters on my eyes reading your thorny 7 miler….!)

    Liked by 1 person

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