Man on the Run
“Whenever I feel like exercise, I lie down until the feeling passes.” Robert M. Hutchins
I can sprint as fast as Usain Bolt.
At least it felt that way the other day when I had an opportunity to put my legs through their paces.
When I damaged my medial ligament, a few weeks before, I discovered a new source of pain. The healing was slow, hurting like a toothache-of-the-knee any time it had a spot of exercise.
On the day of my sprint I arrived at the big Park-and-Ride at the north of the Forth Bridge and spotted the express bus to Edinburgh coming in close behind me. For the first time ever, I found a parking space within fifty yards of the terminal. With it came the opportunity to catch the transport and get back on schedule. Only one hassle, walking wasn’t an option? …
The Accelerative Man
What happened? A hardwired response. I found myself accelerating to a moderate, slightly lopsided lumber. The driver couldn’t see me for the terminal building. People, even older than me, rushed from a drop off space, blockers, hastening at maximum crawl; about a quarter of my velocity. The bus’s rear stuck out past the building. A gap appeared in the surging, breathless, herd of humanity. I hurtled through and made the corner of the wall in time to see the doors close.
Tip-toe Through the Ancients
An ancient woman, almost level with the front, gave up red-faced and puffing. I slalomed round her and caught the driver’s eye. He lowered his head, rolled his eyes and let me on. Another four or five aged sprinters, including the red-faced ancient, and the blockers, marshalled themselves behind me. The man at the wheel didn’t return my smile and cheerful greeting. Schedules are what they are, I suppose.
I found a seat. And what pops into my head? Dignity!
You must’ve looked pretty undignified as you ran for the bus. The voice sounded like HAL in 2001 a Space Odyssey.
Nobody pointed. The people behind me were relieved to see the door open. No one muttered “fool”. Did a couple really nod appreciation to me for getting the door opened? Yes.
Like a Falling Tree
Bottom line? Nobody thought about my appearance of dignity but me. When it came to running for the bus even I forgot about it! Who said: “if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, is there a sound?” (such profundity) If a (nearly) old fart runs for a bus and nobody laughs and points, is there any indignity?