Diane: Our relationship was a two-way street.
Frasier: Yes, and I was run over in both directions.
- Cheers, "Dinner at Eight-ish" (1987)
While back on the East Coast for Thanksgiving, I thought I'd go out for a pre-turkey jog around the neighborhood - you know, to preemptively work off some of the holiday calories. That's just my typical holiday m.o.*
So it's Thursday morning and I'm all geared up, complete with black Brooks running tights (subtle product plug and possibly disturbing visual image), ready to run. But my dad catches my attention. How nice, I think, he's going to give me a pre-Thanksgiving-pre-run pep talk.
"This former colleague of mine - someone who was really respected in his field - was at a conference in Florida** a few years ago," he tells me. "One morning, he went out jogging, a few hours before he was supposed to give a presentation."
What are the chances this story doesn't end well?
"Several hours went by and he didn't show up, so his wife called the police. Turns out that he was jogging along a narrow road. One car pulled over to let him by, but the next driver sped up to pass, and the car hit him. Killed him instantly."
How's that for a pep talk?
"Awesome, Dad. Thanks for the inspiration."
And with that, I set out on the winding, rain-slicked roads near my parents' house, hoping mainly to avoid becoming the future subject of another of my father's similarly uplifting stories.
The previous day, I had received a cell phone message from Greg, a long-lost friend who was, without question, the funniest person I met during four years of college. Hearing his voicemail reminded me of one of his most memorable - if not most tasteful - quotes from back then.
Fittingly for today's post, it also had something to do with a run.
Greg and I were with a handful of friends, watching our college basketball team play against an overmatched opponent. During one stretch, our team was outscoring the opposition pretty handily. One of the guys in our group shouted, "I smell a run!"
Without skipping a beat, Greg yelled back, "Get your head out of your pants!"
* That, sleeping 10 hours a night, and spending most of my other waking hours sitting on a couch.
** The conference might have been in a less-crappy location than Florida, but I really wasn't paying too close attention.