Running With Carl

I’ve been wanting someone from my family to run with me ever since I began almost three years ago. I’ve asked all of my sisters, but they’ve made it pretty clear that they want to leave the running to me. I’ve asked my nieces and nephews to join me when the opportunity has arisen, and although some have said “yeah, that would be fun,” I’ve yet to have any takers. I beg poor Sue and Carl almost weekly to go for a run/walk with me, but they always dismiss me with a little “maybe someday.” I guess most everyone in my family is highly competitive and think if we’re going to run, we’re going to race, but nothing is further from the truth: All I really want is someone to join me for a nice slow little jog.

Tuesday evening, all of this changed. When I got back from a little run/walk with some beginners that I’m helping to train, Carl told me that he would really like to run with me sometime. I suggested that Saturday morning may be the best time, so he agreed that we would do it then. When I asked him last night if he was still willing to run with me, I half expected him to have changed his mind, but he confirmed that he would indeed be ready to join me after I finished with the beginner’s class that I’m helping to lead.

Carl was waiting for me to return home, and as soon as I walked in the door, he asked me for my opinion in regard to what he should be wearing. I gave him a pile of clothes to try out, and he soon had them all thrown on with the exception of the head band. After going into the bathroom to examine his reflection, he then seemed content with the headband too, so we hooked up Maxie and headed out for our first run!

Carl said he hoped we wouldn’t run into any people, so I suggested the greenway, and it proved to be a good choice, with it being quite peaceful this particular Saturday morning. We ran while Carl told me about the History class he’s taking this semester called “The Great Wars.” The conversation centered around trench warfare in WWI as we drifted from “trench foot” to “cooties” to “corpses being devoured by rats.”

We agreed to walk after a while, and then talked about the scorpions his instructor had encountered during the Gulf War. We then started running again as we switched to our shared hatred of snakes, and the ones my father had told me that he had seen while serving in southeast Asia. We walked for a few blocks while struggling to hold Maxie back from chasing squirrels, and then enjoyed a good laugh when Maxie cried loudly because we wouldn’t let her.

When we were about a half mile from home, Carl said he wanted to run the rest of the way. Our pace picked up, and Carl stopped talking as he concentrated on his running and keeping from stepping on Maxie while we watched the blocks slip by. I gave my son a “high five” when we reached our back door and told him he had done a great job! I looked at my Garmin and reported that we had covered 2.1 miles, which seemed to please him.

I finally got a family member to run with me, and it was as enjoyable as I hoped it would be. Getting in a little exercise with a loved one was certainly pleasant, but spending some quality time with my son was priceless!

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