I had been possessed by the Slacker for weeks, only exercising three times during that period. After my move from Los Angeles, I felt it continue to circle around me, tempting me to take it easy…it’s the holidays, after all!
I was channel surfing one morning and stopped on “Sweet Home Alabama”. As Slacker was momentarily distracted, I quickly changed into my running clothes. Unfortunately, it recognized my motivations pretty quickly and immediately started to try and turn me:
Do you realize it’s 20 below out there?
Running doesn’t make your face look very good.
Watch the movie with me! Reese Witherspoon plays a fashion designer and both Patrick Dempsey and Josh Lucas are in love with her…this can be your life if you just –
I started to stretch when I realized how evil its arguments were, except for PD and JL falling in love with me. It could happen in a parallel universe.
I blared music through my earphones to drown out any further comments and started walking over to my old high school. I headed towards the newly built football field and as I started jogging, I saw him.
Dad, meet Slacker. Slacker, Dad.
My dad had already left the house an hour before I did, and there he was, walking backwards along the outer edge of the track. I don’t think it’s the safest thing an 89 year-old should be doing, but he says it’s good for his muscles. He walks frontwards and backwards for about two miles, five times a week.
Slacker slinked away pretty quickly when it was faced with a person with no slack at all. I was appropriately humbled and waved at my dad as I ran by him. I thought about all the things my dad has been through in his 89 years: growing up in a poor farming family, unable to start college when individuals of Japanese ancestry were incarcerated in camps during WWII, weathering the death of a daughter, starting and running his own business for thirty years, surviving a stroke…
There is simply no excuse for me not to try. I have no good reason not to be the best (and healthiest) person I can be for myself and others.
I thought about all of this, put my head down, and ran harder.
I’ve run three times this week. Thanks, Dad. And Slacker? With all the farewells I’ve been a part of this month, I have to make sure this one lasts a long, long time.