Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Track

Before Mr. Strong and I were married, we used to go to "The Track" to walk and talk. Now that we are married, not so much.

The Track is a basic quarter mile track next to a middle school near my home. I have an aversion to treadmills since they usually require moving copious amounts of laundry before using - and I don't do laundry before the sun rises. This must afflict a lot of people as the track is a popular place to walk or run. You should have heard the uproar when they had to close the track for 2 weeks to resurface it.

Because I work primarily with children, there are many, many parents who don't understand that what I do at work is not what I wish to continue to do when I am not at work. And because these said parents wouldn't control their children from hanging out with me in the evening when I would walk and run at the track, I was forced to find a time when no children were present. Hey, I need a break. It's not a crime. And because apparently I'm a glutton for punishment, I finally settled on 4:30 a.m. as the witching hour at the track.

One might think that one would be running alone in the dark at 4:30 a.m. - but one would be wrong. There is a regular motley crew that shows up almost every day. So this tribute is to you, the regulars...

First, there is Grandma R. She is the one who introduces every one to each other. She also makes me realize that my hopes of sleeping in as I get older are probably going to be dashed. Grandma R. is truly an amazing person who loves life and all people. Lucky for me that I met her because now she volunteers at my school 4 days a week in the Severely Impaired Special Education classroom.

Next comes Mr. UPS. He runs and runs and runs. Run, Mr. UPS man, run. And because he looks like he could open up several cans of whoop-ass with his teeth, we all feel safer.

Ah, and then there is Ruby. Really, she is a gem. She is a single mother of 4 kids. Her ex is a physician's assistant (PA) who fell for a little nurse. Ruby must have run off all her frustrations because she seems to be the happiest person out there.

Can't forget Ms. Art History who teaches at the local university. She has a story for everyone. And a memory like an elephant. That must be how she stuck with art history. She can remember all the art work and the artists without looking at the label for reminders.

Also, there is Mr. Middle School Teacher who always walks with his dad. That's nice. I think I'll call my mom and suggest she meet me at the track at 4:30 a.m. tomorrow. I'll let you know how she responds (but I'll leave the expletives out - don't want to ruin her reputation).

And a special thanks to the police department who drive by over and over to keep an eye on us. I used to think they were helping to keep us safe. Now I wonder if they are worried that we are interested in the goods inside the school. Wouldn't it be funny to see how they'd react if we were all running around with a TV or computer in our arms? Yes?

The biggest part of the tribute is saved for the end. Thanks to you, Mr. Weather Man, for letting me know when the temperature dips into the "are you insane, you shouldn't be outside" zone. I admire your accuracy. And I appreciate the 30 extra minutes of sleep.

Happy Tuesday, ya'll!

14 comments:

only a movie said...

Oh, I like this post. I have a similar list of Train People from years ago when I commuted.

Candice said...

Ah, I remember back when I had the motivation go get up at the asscrack of dawn to workout. I SO need to get back to that.

P.S. - You need to hook up beefy UPS guy with Ruby.

Comedy Goddess said...

Who knew all of this was going on? I used to call it an early night if I got home at 4:30am. What a long time ago that was.

Sunny said...

lucky you. I run at 5am and there's not a soul

Sarah's Blogtastic Adventures said...

Oh I so admire your motivation. I am really going to try and drive to the gym today, maybe join and possibly go and work out : )

Deb said...

cute tribute. i can just picture the complete cast of characters. and how good are you getting your butt up so early! you are right... forget ever sleeping in again. now that i have hit 40, my eyes fly open at 5:30 every dang morning.

Just B said...

I LOVED this! You are a great story teller and this one was worth telling. Also, wow to 4:30 am.

Sera said...

I vote for sleeping in instead of going to the track at 4:30 a.m.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I loved this post. I wake up around 4 am to stretch, have coffee, and get the computer to myself.

Kulio said...

You work daily at an elementary school AND you run?

I bow to you.

Halftime Lessons said...

WOW you are dedicated..if you find me at the track at 430am, please call the police, because something is wrong.

loved the post!

Jay

bernthis said...

Wow, as much as I loved reading this post, I could not stop thinking 4:30AM?!!! Anything earlier than 8am and then I'm good for NOBODY

Braja said...

Exercise friends...I like those :) And 4.30am is a very clubby time to rise, I know that for a fact :)

Anonymous said...

Just so everybody understands it is not that I don't love her or that I am fat and lazy .Yipes it is 4:30 in the freaking morning , if I am up at 4:30 it is because I have not gone to bed yet.I am sure there are several interesting people there ,but I already know a lot of interesting people.Besides that if I am up at 4:30 I have probably had too much to drink to walk and talk.
Mr. Strong