Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Da Feet, Not Defeat!

My friend Joe called the other day and asked how I’ve been. We hadn’t talked in a little while. “Not too bad,” I said. “But I am having a problem with da feet.”

“How long has that been going on?” Joe asked. “Oh, gosh, years and years. But I more or less sucked it up for a long time until this year, when it just seems to be a problem more and more often,” I answered. “Now, while I don’t think about da feet every second, a day rarely goes by without the subject crossing my mind at least once. And especially when I am training.”

“Wow! I never knew that about you. You always seemed like a pretty positive guy,” Joe said. “I never would have guessed you to be someone dwelling on defeat. What caused your problem to start?

“Well, I guess it was on those long hikes in the mountains,” I said. “Hiking? What does hiking have to do with defeat?” Joe seemed puzzled. “It has everything to do with da feet,” I said. “How could it not?” “Is it like a hiking race?” Joe asked. “Like, can you lose it and end up with a sense of defeat?”

“I’m sure there are hiking competitions, but I’ve never been in one,” I said. “But I’ve never hiked without a sense of da feet. Always on your mind, every single step from start to finish. The problem has gotten worse since I started with the marathons in 2005. It has gotten pretty painful at times, but this last year has been the worse.”

“Art, you didn’t seriously expect to win the Country Music Half Marathon, or even your age-sex cohort, did you?” Joe seemed very concerned. “I mean, man, you ran your first half marathon. OK, it was hot, you got sunscreen in your eyes and were blinded for a while, and you had to walk part of it. But why would that cause feelings of defeat?”

“You know, it’s funny, but the day of the race, da feet were not on my mind, and I had no problems of that kind. But nearly every time I ran in the months before or since, da feet have been an issue,” I said. “Has,” Joe said. “Has what?” I asked.

“Defeat has been.”

“Da feet has been what, Joe?” I was getting a little annoyed. “Has been nothing,” Joe said. “I was just correcting your grammar.” “Joe, what the hell are you talking about?” I asked.

“Look, forget about it. OK, so what are you doing about defeat and the painful feelings? You seeing anyone?”

“Joe, I’m married,” I said. “Yeah, married and dumb,” Joe said. “Are you seeing anyone about defeat and the feelings you are having? You know, like a doctor?”

“Yep, went to a doctor just today. He recommended alcohol,” I said. “Alcohol? You know, I never minded a good stiff drink, but don’t you think that will just mask the problem?” Joe queried.

“No, the doctor said that should help. Usually after the fourth shot, but it could take as many as seven. This morning was the fourth shot, and so maybe that will do the trick because seven seems like a lot.”

Four shots of alcohol? In the morning? Holy crap,” Joe said. “Then you went into work?”

“Yeah, no big deal. I limped for a while though. Man, it sure burned when I took that shot today,” I said. “Burned?” said Joe. “That’s not good. How fast did you drink it?”

“Drink it? How in the world would that help da feet? You inject it in there. The needle hurts and then the alcohol burns like a son of a gun going in there,” I said to my puzzled friend. “Inject alcohol?” Joe said, in extreme bewilderment. “You mean you are shooting up? Man, there is a huge side to you I never saw before. I’m a little worried about you, buddy!”

“Look, it is all under the doctor’s supervision,” I said. “He sticks that needle in between the metatarsals on my left foot where the neuroma is, and the alcohol should eventually shrink it. When that happens, da feet should be better despite all the pounding they take.”

“Metatarsals? Pounding they take? Neuroma? Wait a second,” said Joe. “When you say da feet, are you referring to your feet, those two things at the lower end of your legs and currently encased in running shoes? Or do you mean, defeat, the sense or event of being bested, of losing?”
“The first one, my two feet, those things that pound away for hours during a marathon,” I said. “Who said anything about being bested or feeling defeated?”

“That explains a lot,” said Joe. “Let’s go have a beer!” “Great,” I said. “I can tell you about my new New Balance that should help with da feet! Great running shoes!”

Joe looked puzzled again as we headed off for that beer. “New, new balance?” Joe asked. “Maybe that will make some degree of sense after a couple of beers, but somehow, coming from you, I doubt it.”

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