Let’s Race

Chapter 29, Blog 1

By Chuck Wells As Told To Ray Hochgesang

chuckwells2008@gmail.com

 

I craved it. I dreamt it. I ached for it.

And now, here it was in my face. R-A-C-E.

After enduring Harry’s endless methodical meanness, I was going to run in a real race. But where was the jubilation? Was I too exhausted to be excited. Was I relieved?

My heart knew what to do. It raced in my chest.

VVVRRROOOMMM!

My lower lip quivered. I sweated like a cheap air conditioner. Fear vise gripped me.

… you’d think you’d be careful what you wished for…

“You will run every weekend, and we’ll see what happens,” said Harry as if he were planning a trip to the grocery. “I have it all mapped out on my calendar. In April, we will take a lap around the state.”

“We will?” I repeated, skipping from one foot to the other. Every leg fiber vibrated with mounting trepidation.

“Yes,” Harry said, sensing my reluctance. “Just part of the process. You will be all right. Competitive work, that is what you need now. A few races. Seasoning. Just a touch. For flavor.”

“What am I? A stew?”

“You do not want to go stale, do you?”

“Stale?” I asked, having pleaded for months to race.

“Yes, stale,” said Harry. “I figure three or four events should be sufficient before we try and qualify you.”

… listen, Coach, he’s already certifiable …

“Great,” I said, meaning anything but.

“You will be fine. I have done this a hundred times,” said Harry. “Any fool who can run blindfolded like you has the right stuff.”

Blindfolded? That was easy. I was outside of my body, looking down.

“Trust me,” said my coach. “You already have more courage than a hundred morons.”

Harry slapped me hard on the back.

“Let’s go eat,” he said.

Whistling something straight out of “Indiana Jones,” Harry rolled toward the car. I stood there stunned silly. Then it hit me like a shot put to the noggin.

“Hey, I still don’t have a pre-race routine …”

But it didn’t matter. I was going racing. The blindfold should have been an eye opener. I didn’t think I was ready, but everybody else already knew. My legs knew it. My heart knew it. Harry knew it.

Copyright © 2012 by Chuck H. Wells/Ray Hochgesang

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