Chapter 28, Blog 3
By Chuck Wells As Told To Ray Hochgesang
“Really?” Now I hoped Harry was kidding. “What do you mean by that?”
“It means, let us get started,” my coach said. “Here, wear this.”
Harry held out his hand. In it was a black cloth.
“A bandana?” I asked.
“No, el stupido. It’s a blindfold,” he said.
“A blindfold. What? Did I stutter?”
… coach has lost it this time …
“What the hell am I supposed to do with that?”
“You wear it, Charlie, baby.”
“What the hell for?”
Harry looked at me with bewilderment. I might as well have asked if he were my fairy godmother. He waved his finger in disapproval.
“We said no more questions, remember?”
“Sure, but …”
“It is part of your training,” he said. “It will help you develop your inner runner.”
“You need to trust your instinct,” Harry continued. “You depend too much … “
“My instinct is telling me to forget the blindfold.”
“Quiet! As I was saying, you depend too much on your sense of vision. Anyone who can see, does. Your other senses need additional work. You know, development.”
I took the blindfold and tied it in place. The cloth was thick. I couldn’t see anything. I felt helpless – and foolish.
“Now what?” I asked.
“Jog a lap,” he said.
“Harry, I’m just going to fall down and get hurt.”
“No, you’re not. I will tell you when you get to the turn. Try it. It is easier than you think.”
“If I sprain my ankle …”
“I swear,” Harry said. “YOU are such a baby.”
That did it. I started to jog. Weird, I felt totally weird. I put my hands out.
“No,” yelled Harry. “Run normally. You can do it.”
I pumped my arms.
“Visualize the track,” Harry shouted. “See the track in your head.”
I focused. I could see a track. Was it right? I jogged slower and peeked.
“Noooo,” bellowed Harry. “Trust your inner runner.”
…. #%&*@#!*#$# …
Blindly, I jogged. I felt the track change. I peeked again. It was the turn. I stopped and glared back at Harry.
“You’re supposed to tell me,” I hollered. “I could have fallen.”
“Charlie, you knucklehead,” Harry yelled. “You felt it, didn’t you?”
He was right. I did feel it. I was stunned.
“Come on back here.”
Sans the blindfold, I jogged back.
“Tomorrow, we will get someone, maybe the Price girl, to run with you until you get used to the blindfold.”
“You knew I would feel the turn?”
“Only the good ones do,” Harry said.
“I want to run a lap with the blindfold.”
“Think you can?” Harry asked.
Replacing the blindfold, I turned and ran off. This time I jogged a little faster. Again, I felt the contour change ever so slightly. I followed the turn. It changed again. I could feel the backstretch. Faster I ran. I felt the turn again.
It was exhilarating. I never felt anything like it. My strides bounced down the track. I could hear my shoes strike the surface and spring off it. I never heard that before. The early morning air smelled intoxicating as I sliced through it. I could even taste it.
I stopped near Harry and removed the blindfold.
“Only the good ones, huh?” I asked.
“That is correct, said Harry, full of himself. “You know what?”
“What?” I played along.
“It is time to find you a race.”
Copyright © 2012 by Chuck H. Wells/Ray Hochgesang