Gotta Have Heart

Chapter 27, Blog 3

By Chuck Wells As Told To Ray Hochgesang


I turned the car back on.

“Turn it off,” Harry said.

“No, I don’t want to know.”

“If I tell you, will you promise to ask no more questions?”

“It’s all right. I don’t have to … “

Harry reached over and turned the car off. He sighed.

“No more questions?” Harry asked.

“No more questions,” I said.


“Well ….”

Harry started to reach for the car key.

“OK,” I said. “No more questions.”

Harry sighed again.

“Remember those measurements I took in the beginning, the legs, the calves, so on?”

“Yes, you even measured my ears.”

“For more than 50 years, I have kept records on everyone I have ever coached. I have carefully put together the averages, compiled all the statistics, did bell curves, standard deviations.”

“And …”

“I know how long a particular runner’s hangnail should be, everything.”

“And …”

Harry then took the deepest breath I have ever seen one human being take. I thought he would explode.

“Every one of your measurements are within an eighth of an inch of my profile for an 800-meter runner.”

I sat there with my mouth open, my jaw resting on the steering wheel, for at least 30 seconds. Harry glanced at me and frowned.

“I knew it. I knew it. It went straight to your brain,” said my coach. “YOU cannot handle it, can you?”

No, I couldn’t. He should never have told me. My head buzzed like a mosquito light zapping bugs on a backyard deck. My stomach did cartwheels and fell flat. Harry shook his head.

“In other words, if I could build an 800-meter runner from 50 years of research, my Frankenstein would look like you.”

Speechless, I sat there, still suffering brain malfunction.

“Your legs are the closest of all,” Harry said. “Dead on.”

… if only you had half the brain Frankenstein did …

“Logically, you cannot compete with these 20-somethings,” said Harry. “Hell, you are 48 years old. You’re 85 percent more prone to injuries. Your muscle fibers take at least 50 percent more time to heal. Your reflexes are some 40 percent slower. Your brain is …”

“Stop right there,” I said, regaining partial function. “ So I have no chance. That’s what you’re telling me?”

“Charlie, what I AM trying to tell you is you have the tools.”

“Yeah, but … ”

“I can even hot wire your brain …”

“But … ”

“But I cannot measure your heart.”

Copyright © 2012 by Chuck H. Wells/Ray Hochgesang

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