Chapter 15, Blog 1
By Chuck Wells As Told To Ray Hochgesang
Stupefied, Billy and I took turns squinting at Geri’s stopwatch. It was true. There it was in big, black digital figures. The over-the-top effort had taken everything I had – and then some. My lungs ached, unable to pay a crushing oxygen debt. My lactic-acid-gutted, paper-thin legs rustled in the early spring breeze. Finally, I sat down in the middle of the track before I fell down. The kids exchanged knowing glances, probably wondering if an ambulance would be needed.
Billy stuck out his hand. I reached up and shook it. Think he was looking for a pulse.
“Where’s my twenty?” he asked, grinning.
“You couldn’t beat me … by 10 meters … if you had to,” I said, trying to catch my breath.
“You do the trash talking BEFORE the race, Wells,” said Geri. “Do I have to tell you everything?”
Billy laughed. Geri laughed. And even I laughed.
“That’s your first race?” asked Billy.
“First race in a hundred years,” I said.
“I really thought you had me that last hundred,” he said. “I mean, you were cooking.”
“You could smell it?” I asked between chuckles or were they heaves for air. “Think I deep fried every muscle I’ve got.”
“Want to go again?” Billy asked.
“No, thanks. All I got is one race a day.”
Billy looked at Geri and then at me.
“You’re going to have to work on that, Mr. Wells.”
“Call me Chuck. Only my coach can call me Wells.”
“That’s me,” Geri said. “Ya shoulda seen him when we started. Didn’t even know which way to run around the track.”
Copyright © 2012 by Chuck H. Wells/Ray Hochgesang