The quarter mile that woke me up

My youngest son was in elementary school and was one of the fastest runners in his class.  During his PE class, the gym instructor had the boys and girls race and the fastest among them would qualify for a local, charity track competition.

My son, Ben, qualified and couldn’t sit still for days leading up to the track event.  He was so excited!

He talked me into running the Parent-Child relay with him.  Each of us would run one lap around the track and the fastest parent-child team would win.

That’s easy, right?  I mean, I ran track in high school and even though I hadn’t run at anything near full speed in a decade, this would be easy.  One lap. One quarter mile.  I was in relatively good shape and much skinnier than other men in their mid-40’s.  No biggie.


I started running and felt good.  1/4 lap, 1/2 lap, then 3/4 lap and I noticed I was running out of steam and slowing down.  Wow, this was going to be more of a challenge than I thought.

I toughed it out and ran through the finish line completely exhausted.  I felt a little twinge in my left knee and then soon had a hard time walking properly.  As I limped my way up into the aluminum bleachers at the high school stadium to sit down and relax, I could not believe the pain I was experiencing in my left leg.

The pain lasted weeks and I tried all types of creams, knee braces, ice, and anything else I could think of.  This silly little one-lap run around a track caused some serious pain that lasted weeks.

It was a wake up call.

Sadly, it wasn’t the only one I needed.

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