Race You!

I'm racing Sunday.

You've never heard me say that before. Nobody has. I've been "going to do a run." I've been "going to finish" and "going to see what I can do." But not, y'know, actually RACE.

'Cause racing is for people who are trying to win something, right? Racing is for the really fast people, the really serious ones? Racing is for the people who care where they place, and not about just having fun?

Friends, the "hey, what if?" switches and gears keep flipping in my brain and nothing I look at is what it was before.

What if racing isn't about anything but the fun of racing?

It's easy for me not to care about the win, because there is no realistic chance that I'll be anywhere near the leading finishers. Even so. The win lasts what, a microsecond? (Which, incidentally, means the loss does too.)

But there is something about racing against another person — about yelling, Race You! and just taking off pellmell. About working, pumping next to that other heartbeat, those other feet. About pulling ahead, falling behind, the surprise of effort. There is some kind of bizarre euphoric electricity in shoulder to shoulder racing, something that none of us express to each other with words.

My adrenaline and your adrenaline. My desire and your desire. My being and your being. Right up against each other. Racing. I want that.

I don't need to have done this in an organized run to know about it. I remember being a little kid. I always wanted to race the few people I was closest to. That was a fun thing to do. I didn't want to race so I could beat them. I wanted to race so we could be racing.*

There's no way to completely share the exhilaration of racing except to race another person in a close race. And this sounds like so much fun that I'm willing to do it with complete strangers now.

I don't know who I'll be racing with on Sunday — whoever I manage to creep up on, I suppose.

Maybe if I ever won anything I'd get a taste for winning. If that's part of the joy, great. If not, so? I just want the raw intangible joy to lay itself close and hard against this tangible life. I want to be there for that, for every part of it.

I'm ready to race. You? You ready to go? Come on! One - two -

*SURE, I liked beating my friend in a race. NO, I didn't like getting beaten. But that only lasted a second. The race was the part we'd come back for.


Zoolander said...

Careful. Can you say "addictive"?