I had my usual morning cup of coffee and then went out for my morning run. I really work at being healthy. I admit that I still have some vices, but I try to counterbalance my bad habits with good ones.
It was a bright sunny morning in the 70s with no humidity. I felt great running in Beverly now that the cicadas have disappeared for another 17 years. I was euphoric. Some runs just feel great. Like today’s. I wondered why I was even running today in the first place. After considerable thought, I remembered the one defining moment that changed my attitude toward exercise.
For visitation, my father would often take us to the beach. We would take swimwear, bikes, and food, and spend the whole day there. I really enjoyed those trips to the beach. One day, I was about 15 at the time, we saw an elderly man running on the bike path—not jogging, RUNNING! He was slender, but muscular; he had a full head of hair, but it was completely gray. I’m not sure how old he was, but back then, in Chicago, men that age did not RUN! I’m sure what he did next was exclusively for our amazement: he stopped near a steel-mesh wastebasket, he grabbed the rim of the wastebasket, did a handstand, and began doing handstand pushups! My brothers and I were truly amazed. I told myself that I would someday be like this man.
Well, I have been running all these years to stay healthy. I’ve truly enjoyed running because the exercise keeps me healthy physically and mentally. However, I was never able to do even one handstand pushup!