The Soupster learns of a bizarre theory.
Submitted by Lois Verbaan
“That you, Fran?” said the Soupster, squinting into the sun as a figure ran towards him.
“Yep, Soupster,” Fran replied. “Good to see you! Enjoying this amazing day?” she asked.
“Sure am!” the Soupster said, as he stood up slowly, hands on his lower back as if to pack the discs back in. “Making the most of the weather before it turns on us. Already the leaves are falling,” he lamented. “Wait, wait, though – there’s something different about you, Fran…can’t quite put my finger on it…”
“Oh, yeah” Fran said, nonchalant. “Probably the effects of my Reverse Training Program,” she declared.
“Let’s just say I’ve been extra goal-directed lately. Reverse training,” Fran said.
“So, what’s that about?” he asked.
“Well,” said Fran, “it all began a couple of weeks ago, on one of those rare blue days. So much blue that the only thing separating sea and sky was rocky islands and white surf. I was running in the 4K mountain race and didn’t even stop to admire the view. As my feet found their way up the trail, I was struck by how good I felt. And the whole race went like this. Until the end when I crossed the finish line and asked for my time.”
“And?” the Soupster prompted.
“Not good. I’d lost 15 minutes from last year,” she lamented, “which was 10 minutes slower than the one before that.”
“So that explains your false sense of awesomeness?” the Soupster chuckled.
“Eeeexactly,” Fran said. “You go slow enough, and anything can feel easy. That’s when I decided to take action and launch my Reverse Training Program. Basically, that means adjusting your training for an earlier time. Because you are training for an event that has already occurred, your expectations can be more modest,” she said, illogically.
“I see, I guess, ” the Soupster said. “Just because we can’t turn back time doesn’t mean we can’t cover our tracks — or at least tidy them up. I’ve had similar thoughts. The other day, I saw myself in the library window, looking like a tree leaning a bit too far with the wind. I went in, checked out a book on backs and decided I’ve been walking the wrong way! Who’d have thought there was so much to something we’ve been doing since age one?”
“Are you sure you haven’t just been ducking to keep the rain out of your face?”
“Maybe,” Soupster replied. “Anyway, I’m gliding now, picturing myself as a Tanzanian, maybe, carrying water on top of my head. Straight spine, shoulder blades back, chin tucked. It’s a lot to think about. I’m surprised I can get anything else done at the same time! But it helps with my vertigo, too.”
“Well, good luck with that,” said Fran.
“And, if I ever do carry a pail of water on my head, I won’t need to fill it at a well,” the Soupster said. “I’ll just walk around Our Town on a rainy day.”
“And I’ll be out there too, shaving minutes off my time in a race that I’ve already run!” Fran laughed.
“Happy reverse training!” the Soupster called out, as Fran turned and began jogging backwards down the path.