The thing I love about running is that it makes me feel like a kid again. Running through the woods, across town or around the block, all because I can.
Sometimes, when I'm darting around trees, I think back to all those games of four-man football we played in the side yard of my best friend's house. Many times, before the school bus came, we'd be running the two-option offense: Throw it high so my friend could use his height to catch the ball over his defender; or wait for the seven-second rush and take off running for the end zone. Those trees become tacklers, their roots sometimes doing a fine job of the shoestring takedown.
Running wasn't my sport until age 26, so those mental drifts never feature a track or cross-country course. To run was for some other means, for some other sport: shagging fly balls in little league or getting in shape for hockey.
Sometimes, though, I imagine being a superhero, chasing down some criminal from West Akron who's been terrorizing the otherwise tranquil neighborhood. Running becomes a means to save the day.
Maybe it was seeing The Avengers, the best comic book movie I've ever seen; or maybe it's the anticipation of wanting to see Dark Knight Rises, perhaps the only movie that may surpass The Avengers in awesomeness; or maybe it's The Amazing Spider-Man, another comic-to-film endeavor being released this summer and one that reminds me of the first comic book I ever bought.
Back in the early 1990s, comic books were in a sort of renaissance. Marvel and DC were pumping out must-have story arcs. Superman was dying. Batman was getting his back broken. Spider-man met Venom. The Infinity War. Et cetera, etc. Collectors were going ape.
I was going ape. But then came along a quirky book called The Maxx, which MTV turned into a cartoon, and I became obsessed with creator Sam Kieth.
At some point in high school, I stopped reading comics. Most of my comics are gone now, sold off to collectors and stores. Of the few I kept, most are part of my incomplete Sam Kieth collection.
Over the last year or so, I discovered his blog, and I've been following his art, learning about stories I missed over the years and keeping track of his current exploits.
The day after my birthday, my resurgent interest in reading comic books again finally boiled to the surface. I stopped by JC Comics and Cards and bought a few books and ordered a few other titles online.
The thing I love about reading these illustrated stories is that it makes me feel like a kid again.
Wherein we consider commitment
MissZippy thinks my dedication needs more than 10 days to steep: "I say if you put your mind to it, and want it, you can accomplish it. Let me guilt you -- I have two kids, a husband, pets, freelance writing deadlines, etc., and I can still pull it off. How's that?"
Answer: "Busy" is a relative term. Yes, I'm sure others have more on their plate than I do, but it comes down to that crucial point you made about whether I "want it."
Happy Hour is nearly upon us teammates. Have a finely brewed weekend. Run well and drink well. Cheers!