Walk, Don’t Run

Chapter 22, Blog 4

By Chuck Wells As Told To Ray Hochgesang



Under no circumstances would Harry allow any distance work, pointing out I already had plenty of miles on the odometer. Quantity training was out. Quality training was in.

… say no more …

Tuesday morning, we drove up to The Pines skiing facility, three miles north of the high school. There, Harry had me lope down the biggest hill, hoping to lengthen my strides. But first, I had to visualize loping down the hill for 20 minutes.

Soon after I started training with Harry, my freshmen buddies, now curious sophomores, began to show when they heard I had a real coach. They had no trouble making fun of my Tai Chi routine until they tried it – and loved it. So most days around 6:30 a.m. at the high school, there were at least three – if not four or five – of us slicing the early-morning air with defensive artistry, and sucking heaven chi through the top of our heads and earth chi through the soles of our feet. Wonder what Rockard said when he saw the kids’ new stretches. I bet he didn’t get as crazy as Harry did when I told him about Atlanta.

“Absolutely not. Forget it.”

If I wanted competition, I should visualize it, he said.

“The mind is your most powerful tool,” Harry huffed. “Refine the information it receives. Sharpen your reactions. You can teach your muscles to respond. Think it. Save the miles. You will need them. Believe me … You will need them.”

“Harry, I already signed up.”

“Close your eyes and visualize.”

“I already have the time off.”

“Breathe deeply.”

“My friend wants to go. He’s a shot putter.”

“I do not give a solitary damn about any shot putter. Never have, never will. They have brains the size of a pea. But God Almighty, you have to watch them. That pea is always working.”


“All I know is if you go and get hurt …”

”I won’t get hurt.”

“I mean your psyche. It is not ready. I can tell. It has not learned to … ”

“I’m going.”


With that, Harry thundered away as fast as his walker would roll.

Copyright © 2012 by Chuck H. Wells/Ray Hochgesang

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