“Lie lie lie lie liar you lie” – Rotten, J.
Was talking to a friend today, a hard-core runner who has pounded the pavement for 45 years and maintained the body of a 30 year old. We were talking about my training for the half-marathon in March, and my slowness therein, and I overheard myself say:
“I absolutely do not have a problem with coming in last,” I told him. “Absolutely. None. No problem.”
Oh, I have a problem. I have a huge problem. Who wants to be last? No one wants to be last. Last stinks. Last reeks. Last is last.
This self-esteem-wrecking thought is not just possible but likely. If you take my pace per mile from, say, yesterday’s 7-miler (13:45), project my time for a 13.1-miler (3 hours, 15 sec), and then check the results of last year’s half-marathon … well, I ain’t coming up first. You know how in sitcoms people sit up in bed gasping and sweating after they’ve had some horrible-yet-hilarious dream (at least in your better sitcoms)? I’m so last I haven’t even done that yet.
Of course I cannot admit this in conversation. Noooo. I pretend to be all Zen about it: “I am just enjoying the journey, and the strength and freedom I am getting from working toward my goal.” Baloney. I’ve been needling my 67-year-old friend Jim to run the half-marathon with me just so I don’t come in last. What kind of friend exploits a slow-moving retiree? I’ll tell you what kind: the kind who doesn’t want to come in last.
So to recap: I tell fanciful, elaborately-constructed lies to anyone who will listen. Enjoy!