Running’s second cousin…or weird uncle…

Were you in a band in high school?  There were four of us in ours…and the ever so educational and creative name we came up with was “Random G.”  We had some great songs…actually there were only 3.  We lasted about 4 months…1 gig…and we all went our separate ways (kind of reminds you of Loveburger from Can’t Hardly Wait(very underrated movie)).  The only little lasting thing that came from the ever so short time span of Random G was a great song that was inspired by a group of people that make me so happy every time I see them, and I’m not being goofy here….Power walkers!

Power walkers are considered the second cousin to the running community (or actually Uncle or Aunt because…”You have to walk…before you run”).  I mean, if you have a sanctioned Olympic event (which if you didn’t know…they do!)…you are a true athlete!  Now, yes…does walking really fast and swinging your arms back and forth “look” kind of funny?  Well yeah…but so does leaping and flailing your arms while on a run!  I mean come on…if you think about it…runners look like tight deranged forward jumpers.  Now…sure…do we all love being a part of that group…yeah!

Now there are two indistinguishable characteristics that differentiate power walkers (PWs) from runners.  First off, PWs have this absolutely identifiable shimmy that occurs during their move from point A to point B.  It looks like a casting call for an Ace Ventura stunt double (ya’ll remember that seen where he comes walking in right?)  If there was a beat going on, you can almost see them breaking down to it.  The second one is that “leg throw.”  In real time, it looks like the knee is going to come right out of the leg!  There is an audible cringe with every thrusting advance from the audience.

The biggest question that always seems to come up every four years or so, when we are all brought back to this PW world during the Olympics (which by the way…is usually on tape delay or on late, late, late at night), is why don’t they just let go and start running?!?  I mean, what type of mental capacity does it take to “hold” yourself in that walking position for sooooo long?!?  A whole heck of a lot…that’s how much!  Talk about self-control.  I can barely walk on a path for half a mile without starting to move a little quicker than everyone else.

So as you get out there, whether it’s on a path or roadway…and you pass these second cousins/uncles of ours, throw up a little wave.  Ask for the high five…throw some bows with em…ok…I went too far.  Truth be told…many of them are better athletes than many runners are.  And if you are curious what happened to Random G and our hit…the song never went gold…thought we were going to get a Grammy for it, but never happened.  I think where we went wrong was that we never really appreciated how controlling and thought centered power walkers are.  Look, you know they never have any issue before they go out.  They take some extra time…getting their inside groove on…mentally preparing to pound that pavement…snap a glance to look down…and lace up!

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