The Slacker Gets Schooled

The scene of Slacker's disappearance

The scene of Slacker’s disappearance

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.