“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” –Confucius
My brother and I used to go to Pelham Bay Park to exercise. Nothing fancy, just the usual calisthenics: push-ups, dips, etc. The park was an easy 10 minute walk from our home. We had exercised there together for years. As we got older, we both continued to exercise but more so apart than together. This morning I exercised at my son’s school near my house. There’s a nice field there, some benches, and a playground. I’ve been going there regularly now and do the same exercises I’d done with my brother years ago. It’s comforting to go to the school to workout. Though it is different from the park we frequented it is very familiar. I think about my brother.
One thing different these days is the manner in which I arrive and leave. I’ve added a new routine, so to speak. One that I’ve tried before but was never really into. My brother was and it had become one of his passions. About a month before my brother passed away he invited me (along with his Brother-in-law) to participate in The Spartan Race: an 8-mile to 9-mile obstacle course. I declined. Running was never my thing. I had given it a try years ago, maybe for a month or so, but it didn’t stick. I didn’t see what the big deal was; I couldn’t appreciate it. No, it wasn’t my thing; it was his. I’d be lucky if I could run a single mile, let alone 9 miles with a bunch of obstacles thrown in for good measure, I had thought:
“We’re doing the Spartan Race in September. You down?” he said.
“What the hell is a Spartan Race?”
“It’s an obstacle course.”
“How long is it?”
“Not sure. 8 – 9 miles I think.”
“GTFOOH! No way! Thanks, but no thanks!”
We both continued talking and laughing about it. I wished them both good luck. Louis knew I wasn’t into running. I was always curious as to why he invited me. Knowing him, he just probably thought it would be fun to do together.
This coming weekend is the Spartan Race. I think about it every time I jog to and from my son’s school where I am reminded of my brother. I like running now. I have a newfound appreciation for it. It’s fun, just the way it was for my brother. I definitely won’t win (the race); it’s not about that for me anyway. Louis wanted to do it. I feel since he can’t now, I will do it for him in his stead.