WHAT I lack in swiftness, I have gained in coping mechanisms.
Today I went for a short run outside. I still call it running because as far as I can see I’m the only 64-year-old female around here “running” It’s special when I can get outside and today’s run was not exceptional at first. I got to the corner on the first leg of my trip and then it was a long downhill and even with gravity assist, not an impressive pace. The second mile it just so happened there was a slow-moving station wagon heading in the same direction as me. The car stopped and a young man jumped out and ran between the houses on the street. I am curious and female so I was alert to what route I was on options, and the direction the man was heading. Wherever he went, not 10 seconds later he reappeared and ran back to the waiting car, climbed in and shut the door. Still, a few lots ahead of me and by now I had slowed my pace. Gravity was no longer my friend so under my own steam I was NO match for the young man’s rate of movement. My plan was to stay behind them, but somehow I still gained ground on the car so it was easier to see inside. Next to the guy on the passenger side were at least 2 others in the car. The driver, the runner, and one or 2 in the back seat. I know when you are alone being confident and keeping your head up is a good way to avoid being a victim…but that’s not a posture for runners. I just kept moving forward and slow thinking I did not want to turn my back on the vehicle. I was running faster than the car and I closed in at the back bumper, and the car slowed again and stopped just in front of me.
The window of the car was open…and the guy turned and look right at me with his right arm partially out the window. ..That’s when I saw he was holding something in his hand…He saw that I was behind and he pitched the thing towards the house directly in front of me…the “thing” turned out to be a newspaper and it landed squarely on the porch of the house to my right. The car sped up and 3 more houses got their morning paper as I kept my pace behind them. The danger passed I decided that it was a matter of time before I would be in the path of the free flying press so I hurried forward even with the car and in line with the guy tossing papers. As I swooshed by I looked in at the occupants smiling and said…”I don’t know if I can keep up with you…but I will try” They laughed but kept moving with their deliveries and did not adjust anymore to me. I finished running in my neighborhood crossing their paths 3 more times. Each time they spotted me they waved or made some remark of apparent encouragement or challenge. The last time the runner hollered from across the street and I told him I won because I was finished. I noted while I ran, when I saw them or a paper, each newspaper was delivered with pinpoint accuracy. Until next week.