Friday, October 28, 2011

40 Years on the Run

It just occurred to me this morning that this month marks an important anniversary in my life. I don't know the exact date. If I'd known it would be important, maybe I'd have written it down. But I didn't know, and I didn't write it down. Maybe it's today. Not that it really matters. What happened is this: One day in October 1971, 40 years agone, I went out for a run and never came back.

Okay, I came back, but I've been going out regularly, five or six days a week ever since. If moderate exercise will keep me in good health, I should be pretty dang healthy. I've been pounding the pavement for 40 years now. If nothing else, I have sturdy calf muscles.

I can remember exactly what I was wearing that first day. The first cool front of the fall had come through, and I had on a pair of wheat-colored jeans that there's no way I could squirm into now, a paisley shirt (long sleeves), and a pair of rubber-soled canvas shoes that I'd used to play handball in when we lived in Austin.

My plan was simple: I'd run as far as I could, then turn around and walk back home. I took off from the end of my driveway, turned right and ran down Ninth Street to Indian Creek Road. I turned left and ran until I couldn't run any more. I figured I'd gone at least a mile. Maybe two. I was quite pleased with myself as I started the long walk back.

When I got home, I got in the car and measured the distance. I was amazed. One-fourth of a mile? How could that be? Surely something was wrong with the odometer, or maybe I'd just looked at it wrong when I started out. I turned around and drove home to check it again.

Sure enough, I'd gone one-fourth of a mile. Not exactly the heroic effort I thought. Oh, well, now I knew there was room for improvement. I'd go out again the next day and do better.

I did go out the next day, but I didn't do any better. I didn't want to strain myself. I'd wait until the next day to improve, but I already knew there'd be a next day. What I didn't know was that there would be a next day for 40 more years.

And there'll be another one tomorrow.


Shirley Wetzel said...

Good for you! Happy running anniversary, and long may you run!

BISH said...

Congrats! The funny thing is I've been out there every day with you for those 40 years. It's amazing how the time passes, but the running never gets old (just the runner) . . .

Anonymous said...

Awesome, Bill, keep it up. I think I have an anniversary like that, but it's reading, not running. I SHOULD exercise more, but walking is about all I can manage, and event hat isn't far. What you're doing is inspiring. How far do you typically go these days?

Bill Crider said...

Rick, I used to count the miles. Now that I've slowed down so much, I count the minutes. I go about 40 minutes now. In the old days, that would've been 5 miles. Now it's more like 3.

Richard L. Pangburn said...

Thanks for that. I'm resolving now to buy a couple of your books and read them before Thanksgiving. I don't know why I haven't tried them before.

I'm wondering if your Sheriff is a runner too.

Bill Crider said...

He's too busy bustin' crime.