In the beginning, there were a few little road races, but this whole business of really defining myself as a runner started in the fall of 1983 when I decided to join the cross country team. I actually chickened out that first day, letting myself be confused by some muffled middle school loud speaker announcement and riding the bus home instead of going to the locker rooms to change. Upon arriving home, my mother challenged me...."I thought you were going to see if the running team looked like fun?" And so she drove me back to Robious Middle School and, nervous even to begin with, I showed up late to my very first cross country practice.
|Fast forward twenty-two years and a couple of months...and there was me this morning, shivering and bouncing to stay warm, crowded together with a bunch of other cold, scrawny bodies just behind a faint white line on a field of wet, muddy grass. I could have been twelve again, aside from the fact that none of us reeked of Ben-Gay. (I've always wondered what exactly the 80's obsession was with that stuff, but I still get sentimental when its distinctive aroma makes an appearance on a start line.)|