Running slowly

I barely did much of a stretch before I started to run.

It was my first time back on the road, my first couple of steps toward running again. I’d gone back to Coonskin Park, a daffy or derogatory named place depending on where you’re from. Some people think (including me) that there’s a racist connotation to the name, but the place was supposedly named for an old hunter and trapper who kept a bunch of actual coonskin pelts nailed to a wall.

Either way, we should have changed it a decade or three ago. At best, the name comes across as dated. At worst, it sounds “accidentally racist” or sort of offensive by accident.

If we couldn’t name the Summersville Dam, the Gad Dam because it sounds like blasphemy and because it certainly would have encouraged people to blaspheme as a joke, then why keep Coonskin?

I am going on more about this subject than I intended.

Anyway, it’s a nice, local park with a crap name.

I stretched for all of 30 seconds. I never know how much is enough or really what I’m doing.

I am the worst for acquiring books on subjects, like training to run, but then not actually reading them. I put them on the table next to my bed, next to the comic books, the novels and the less savory stuff (like books on getting published or improving your writing) and never do more than glance at the forward.

I guess the belief is having the book is the first step.

I take a lot of first steps. The second one is what kills me.

After a mediocre stretch, I started off at a slow trot. A couple of old women in spandex were walking on the other side of the park road, chatting away and moving at a pretty good clip.

They ignored me as I passed, as did the woman with her pair of dogs.

The dogs didn’t ignore me. They eyed me with deep suspicion and sniffed the air as I approached, but didn’t come after me.

By the pond, a handful of early morning fishermen cast their lines and lures. A woman with bleached hair and more denim than is usually considered fashionable (I was once shamed by a co-worker for wearing a blue jean jacket and blue jeans) reeled in a fish, peeled it off her line and threw it back. She caught another half a minute later. It may have been the same fish. Maybe he enjoyed the bite of the hook.

Only a few ducks and geese were up and about. Most remained curled up and half asleep, taking some warmth from the morning sun.

I ran as far as I could, which turned out to be about half a mile. Then I turned around and mostly walked back.

It was a start, not much of a start, but still…


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