Use Care, Not Dare

Chapter 29, Blog 3

By Chuck Wells As Told To Ray Hochgesang


We laughed the rest of the way home. Sure, I was embarrassed. Never did I trip anyone in a race. I felt bad. But Harry told me to forget it. So what if I were disqualified and forever banned in Terre Haute?

Also, I was injured. Harry made me clean my knee wound at the McDonald’s in Kentland. Then, he prescribed a trip to the doctor on Monday to get a tetanus shot. Shifting into teaching mode, my coach said I should learn three things from the mishap:  1. Don’t fall at the start. 2. Don’t lose my cool. 3. Always pass with care.

“Should I write it down for you, Charlie? Perhaps print it on your hand for every race?” he asked. “Maybe a tattoo?”

“No, thanks, Harry, I’ve got it. Would it be easier if I just took the lead and didn’t give it up like Prefontaine used to do?”

“I wish it were that easy,” said Harry.

The injury did allow me to take Monday off to let my knee heal, but I still did visualization on my own. Harry was right. It was a powerful tool. I played the Terre Haute race over and over in my head, and not once did I clip that guy. But I did beat him every time. Back at practice on Tuesday, I wore the blindfold while I did my Tai Chi and jogged three laps with it on. Addictive? No, just superstitious.

I took the blindfold off to see Geri Price staring at me in mock horror.

“What in the name of Nike are you doing, Wells?” She asked and then winked at Harry.

“Training,” I said.

I told her about the Terre Haute debacle, and she thought it was ridiculous.

“I had no idea you were such a dirty runner,” she said. “Did Rockard teach you that?”

“Back in the day, I took out a whole relay team with a single baton,” I said.

“Wells, you’re such a bad liar.”

Copyright © 2012 by Chuck H. Wells/Ray Hochgesang


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