Sunday, November 6, 2011

Marathon Man and Other Sports Updates

It’s NY Marathon Sunday.

I’ve never run a marathon, never took up jogging for that matter. Bad for the knees, I always reasoned, only to have my precautions wasted. My knees were assaulted during a basketball game some 15 years ago when they hooked up with a much stronger set than mine. Knee on knee contact is supposed to be among the most intense of injuries. I wasn’t bothered by the contact when it occurred but within two years I underwent surgery on my left knee. After returning to the hardwood upon completing my rehabilitation, my right knee started acting up. Rather than undergo another operation, I stopped playing basketball. It was no big loss to the game James Naismith invented.

My physical problems not being the intended reason for this blog, let me continue with my marathon memory. Gilda’s brother Carl did run marathons, so one Marathon Sunday some three decades ago we decided to brave the chilly weather and cheer him on. We waited behind blue police barricades at the 20-mile point, up in the Bronx. Carl was a good runner. We expected him to pass within an hour of the leaders.

We waited and waited for nearly four hours. No Carl. Numb from the chill and hungry, we headed home, figuring Carl must have pulled up lame before our vantage point. Being pre-cell phone days, we had to wait until we returned home to contact him.

Turned out Carl was not injured, that he indeed had kept to his expected pace. But the stress of the race had so contorted his image that we didn’t recognize him as he loped by. Ah, well...

Carl doesn’t run marathons anymore, but he jogs almost daily with his German shepherd dog Pas in Riverside Park and environs.

Swimming Update: I still need water wings. Or those pastel water noodles to stay afloat. A couple of things conspired to thwart my effort to learn to swim last summer.

First, my friendly, competent instructor Ken and I couldn’t maintain a consistent lesson schedule. I think it had something to do with Ken and his need to go to something he called “work.” We managed just three lessons, including the one where Ken had to “rescue” me in deep water. Perhaps that led to reason number two—Ken needed angioplasty shortly thereafter. Well, there’s always next year, but I’m going to insist Ken take a physical before he gets back into the water.

Kim and Kris: If you’re waiting for my thoughts on the nuptuals that are no more, sorry to disappoint you. I do hope, however, the public is not being set up for a spin-off reality series on Kris Humphries’ comeback attempt to be Mr. Kim Kardashian or his battle to re-enter the real world.