I started running at about the age of 10. My dad would wake me up at 6:30 a.m. (which felt like 3:00 a.m.), and we’d go for a run together. Our runs kept a pretty easy pace until the last 100 meters…then the real race started. We always ended at one particular parking lot, so as soon as we got to the entrance…boom! We’d both start sprinting to the other side, determined to crush our opponent despite the lactic acid paralyzing our bodies.
Now, keep in mind that in this scenario, I’m 10 and my dad is a full-grown male. He could have beaten me every time, but he’s not a monster. I remember “winning” several times. Likewise, my dad’s obvious physical advantage in no way mitigated my competitiveness. Duh, of course I should win when the competitor is MY DAD!!! The flip side was that I was a hella-sore loser, and sometimes after a defeat, I kept the walk back to our house silent. I couldn’t bring myself to say anything because I was too pissed at losing. Losing! To my dad!!!
When you live in Kansas, 6:30 a.m. on a winter morning is not a time you wanna be outside. My dad would knock on my door and say, “Suz, wanna go for a run?” Usually I reluctantly agreed and pulled myself out of bed as bitter as a whiskey sour. However, I also remember making up A LOT of excuses. I couldn’t just say, “No,” because the resultant disappointment from my dad stung too much. The only option was to trick my dad into thinking that I couldn’t run because of an extremely logical excuse. Below are some examples of logical excuses I can remember giving…
- “I can’t run because it makes me so tired that I can’t serve the volleyball in practice.”
- “I have a test, so I can’t run otherwise I’ll be too tired to concentrate.”
- “I can only run every other day, otherwise I’m too tired during my walk to school and back.”
A 90-second explanation accompanied each excuse…a classic excuse-making mistake. A good excuse is succinct and gets the message across in few words. However, my excuses usually involved multiple characters and a conclusion…summarizing why I, therefore, am unable to run at this time.
I doubt my dad cared. I know that my dad woke me up to go for runs because I asked to go along (seemed like such a good idea at the supper table!); secondly, I think having to come wake me up motivated my dad to get up himself. Dragging me along did not make the morning easier for him, so when I made a soap-bubble thin excuse, he didn’t really care. He was awake, so he was going to go for his run.
“Dad, I can’t go for a run because I’ve gotta write a blog post about running…and the edits are taking longer than I would have thought…and the spellcheck seems to not be working…and I think my shampoo is making me too sleepy…and…”