tonight's numbers are in and i am STILL on my awesome hot streak. i now have nineteen consecutive last place finishes in this trail running series, which is an all-time record, AND tonight's run was a full two minutes better than the last time we ran this course.
i'm still a sucky runner, but i don't think i can put this any better than what those ladies said to me at the bottom of the last hill: remember that the rest of america is sitting at home with their hand on their remotes.
last week after the run we're standing in the parking lot talking and this kid, this beautiful and perfect kid comes around the corner into the lot and the way he sits the bike is so graceful and stylish and skillful even though he's maybe only ten or twelve years old and in one hand he's holding a cup of coffee and he dismounts and takes off his helmet, all without spilling the coffee and he looks like one of those guys in the collegiate cyclocross races.
my friends and i are talking, but we're also watching this kid and finally i just turn and call out to him "do the other kids at your school know how cool you are?" and he's kind of taken by surprise and my friends and i all have a few comments for this kid about how we don't know how he goes over on the playground, but the way he rides the bike and carries the coffee and tears it off with some style makes him ready to be cool with the big boys.
then we notice this kid's father coming up behind the conversation and the guy is grinning so wide his face will maybe break, he's so proud.
and the kid says to us "is the race over? who won?"
"i don't know who won", i say. "i come in last every week."
"cool" he says, smiling.
and his father tells us the kid dragged him out for an evening's mountain biking but he didn't do too bad for an old guy. "he keeps falling", the kid says.
"if you're not falling, you're not learning." i tell him.
"cool. i'll have to fall a lot more then." he says, and he smiles again.
this kid has a beautiful smile. and you can see in his eyes when he talks to you that he's thinking back there. he's smart. and ten or twelve years from now he is going to break hearts everywhere he goes.
and his dad will still be proud.