A long Run


As I was running on the treadmill the other day breathless, and wishing I was anywhere else, I thought of this Mid-Missouri Memory, and thought you might enjoy it again. It’s called the long run.

Sometimes I dream I am running very fast, with my long hair flowing behind me as I jump ditches and large obstacles with the ease of a decathlon champion. It is only a dream mind you, because to be honest I never could run very fast, nor could I jump very high as a boy. The person I am in my dream however, doesn’t remember that fact, and just keeps running. The person I am in the dreams also does not remember that my hair never was that long, or flowing. I was in fact a slow little boy with a crew cut until I got interested in girls. Then I was a slow little boy with more hair.

That who may remembers me from those long ago days of my child hood probably remembers I was never very athletic either. I did go out for baseball as a boy, but then I was that little kid in left field, daydreaming as the ball came his way. The other team usually scored, while everyone on my team tried unsuccessfully to get me to notice the ball lying at my feet. As a football player, well let’s just say the only thing that got hit more than I did was the tackling dummy. I did win a ribbon in track for pole vaulting once, when I was in the fourth grade at Washington School. I should mention however that it wasn’t a first place blue ribbon, since there were no other kids in my weight class, which at that time was probably called “Puny.”

There is nothing wrong with being less than athletic I guess, but just once I would have loved to score the winning touchdown, or hit that game winning home run. Like a lot of other little boys however, I was only an athlete in my dreams, something that is apparently still true.

My dreams have changed only slightly, as I got older. As a boy, I would dream about young girls, shiny bicycles, anything good to eat, and being athletic. As a man I dream about older women, shiny cars, anything good to eat, and apparently being an athlete with more hair. I did have more nightmares as a boy, than I do as a man. My mother told me back then it was because my guilty conscious came out at night to remind me that I had done something wrong during the day. That may have been true, because my friends tell me they had lots of nightmares back then too, and we usually did all those wrong things together.

As for the running, and the long flowing hair in my dreams today, that may be some sort of reward for being good most of the time now. My wife however, says she doubts that.