Sunday, August 2, 2009

Lessons Learned -A Dolt

How do I begin a story of me being a dolt?

Definition-dolt-(pejorative) A stupid person; a blockhead or dullard.

Now, having admitted that I am a dolt about many things is an interesting concept.
As we travel through this experience we call life, often we think we have mastered something. We feel as though we are an expert at one or more things. Perhaps it is a hobby or work or being a writer. Maybe it is being a parent, friend or sibling. If we did not have this feeling of having mastered something, does it somehow negate our knowledge of a subject or action? The saying "Jack of all trades, Master of none." is used to express the idea that we may dabble in many areas and never really narrow our expertise to one thing. And by what standards are we a master of something? Is it that we emmulate another whom we feel is the best as something? Do we create something new and therefore are the master of it by default?
Well, I certainly fall into the category of jack of some trades...and then there is the Master of Dolt.
Several months ago, I was asked to fill in as the running buddy for a friend's daughter in a 5k race. This request came after my friend could not run due to an injury. She is a mom, nurse and avid runner. Her daughter is 8 years old and was running with the Girls on the Run program. The grand finale is a 5k the girls and their running partner have trained for and run together. Most often it is a Mother/Daughter or Father/Daughter team. Me NOT being an avid runner; recall the "Jack of some" and perhaps only being a mediocre runner comes into play when I was asked to be the stunt-double for the event.
Remember, stunt doubles are called in so the star does not get hurt, they take the punches, make the falls, usually at their own peril.
To be a runner, you must have one important ingredient; running shoes. To be a runner you must be willing and able to run in said running shoes. To be a runner it helps to have running attire so not to be injured anymore than is necessary. All of these things are usually ready and used prior to the race in which the runner is running.
So, fast forward to the DOLT moment.
Upon learning that I will be the stunt double, accepting the challenge, and then 'running' out to buy the required and supplemental supplies, I made my way to Jus' Runnin'. This is a local running store that does this amazing test to show you how your feet hit the ground, what shoes would best work for your foot type and what other attire would compliment all of the rest of it.
Naturally, I am whining about the fact that I will be running in a 5k the next day, having never run in a 5k before. Whining that it will hurt and I must not show this weakness to my running buddy. Whining that since I cannot show this to my running buddy that I will certainly be in more pain than is even expected and therefore, I may in fact die. The very nice young lady helping me was a runner, gave me great advice on my shoe and attire selection. She was a college student and works at Jus' Runnin' and runs every evening with the running club that leaves from their location. How do I know all of this?
Well, lo and behold, as I am trying on running shorts, I hear someone asking her about school, running and if she plans on running that evening. I think to myself how wonderful it must be to really be an 'expert runner' to feel so confident that running is second nature. She is an expert runner, I decide and I am happy that she is the one helping me with all my life-altering decisions.
And here is where the DOLT part comes in...the next question the person asked her was about how she was feeling. Her answer. "I feel great, the chemo is almost over and I have not been too sick this time. I am going tonight, it makes me feel better."
It then dawned on me that she was wearing a headband/scarf. It then dawned on me that she was bald. It then dawned on me that she was so pale and thin and frail. It then dawned on me that I had the audacity to complain about the fact that I may get a blister. It dawned on me that I was complaining about my perceived pain. It dawned on me that she was there doing her job and she was then going running for the fun of it; after chemotherapy.
Me, now the Master of Dolt. If anyone would care for lessons, I am available at all times.
Lessons learned; I am one of the most fortunate people in the world and that given the opportunity to run for any reason, at any time, and to have such a beautiful attitude, would certainly be the icing on my cake.
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