The Musings of a Narp

Well gang, here I sit, sipping coffee, pondering life, and patiently awaiting Laura’s return from her long run. It’s been over a week since I last ran a step. Running is starting to feel distant now, as if I can’t quite place what it feels like to be out there on the streets – running has become an old friend whose face you can’t recall. I miss my old friend.

The last time I was out there, during our Triple C beer run, I ran/walked four miles and somehow this was enough to obliterate my wounded knee (and really, seriously? That’s all it took to trigger a huge setback? A 4-mile run/walk?!?) As my fitness level continues to wane, as I rapidly pack on pounds of fat, now that I can’t run, I have to ask myself, “If I’m not a runner then what am I?”

Left: me just before surgery. Right: Me now.

Me before surgery.                               Me now.

A spectator? I’ve been forced to stand on the sidelines and watch local races. But watching a race every couple of weeks doesn’t seem to make me much of a spectator.

A fighter? A couple of weeks ago, I had a bit of an altercation with an asshole who drove into the finishing chute of the Huntersville half marathon and nearly ran over my friend and rival Rob (if anybody’s going to run over Rob, it will be me in the Blue Ridge mountains!) I was all set to let bygones be bygones until this worthless skin-covered sack of shit got out of his car mere seconds after nearly flattening Rob and had the unmitigated gall to flip us (the runners and spectators gathered at the finish line) all off, at which point I, dead smack in the middle of a conversation with Chad, said “Oh fuck that” and sprinted, bad knee and all, down there to confront this gentleman. I’m ashamed to admit that he and I cursed back and forth (Me: “What the fuck is your problem? You can’t see there’s a road race going on here? You nearly ran him [pointing at Rob] over, you idiot!” Him: “Fuck you! I’ve got to get over here! [parking lot]” and so and so and so forth…) while he held his 4-year-old daughter in one arm. When he said, “You’re about to get your ass kicked!” I literally thought to myself “How can I punch this turd without hurting the little girl? Can I knock him out and catch her?” but even in my rage, I realized that was probably a really bad idea. I gently encouraged him to take his little girl inside (ironically, for karate lessons) and come back out to continue our conversation, but he walked her inside and never reemerged. But one fisticuff-free incident does not a fighter make. Long story short, I see anger management therapy in my future – I encourage this father to join me.

A writer? I hardly think somebody that writes a blog entry once a month (if I’m lucky) can be called a writer.

A drinker? I have a beer or two (or four) almost every day. I’m certainly spending more time drinking than I am running or writing. But shit, who wants to label themselves that?!

So none of these alter-egos seem quite right. Then what?

I think my friend Melissa has figured it out. Some of her endurance athlete friends recently introduced her to a term that she passed on to me: narp. Narp is an acronym that stands for Non-Athletic Regular Person. So there you have it – I have become a narp. Sit back and enjoy the rambling musings of a narp. In the meantime, I’ll be desperately trying to shake the new label.

Soon I’ll try to aqua jog, something I’ve been resisting for some reason – apparently, I have some dread or fear of the unknown, perhaps fearing some swimmer will point at me and scream, “He doesn’t belong here!” But with Boston looming oh-so-very-large, and with my knee currently suffering after other forms of exercise (it even hurt after the elliptical this week), I’m getting increasingly desperate.

That’s it. Thanks for bearing with me.

Your former-runner friend turned narp,

Allen

 

 

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2 Responses to “The Musings of a Narp”

  1. Sarah Strunk Says:

    Hi Allen. If you have time over the holidays and want to drive to Durham, I think my BF John Stiner can help you. He’s a great massage therapist, cares immensely and knows a shit ton about running. 919-381-7006. Give it some thought! Either way, I’m sorry about your knee. I want to beat you in Boston in a fair race!

    • Allen Strickland Says:

      Thanks Sarah! Doubt I’ll make it to Durham – got good folks in Charlotte! And unless I miraculously heal up soon, you should take me this year. My goal at this point is just to be able to cover the distance and keep the streak alive. May have to postpone the serious rematch til 2017!

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