I was distinctly under the impression that neon laces, matching gloves, racing stripes and sleeve-over-the-thumb thingies would make you run faster. I guess all that running stuff in the magazines is false advertising or something because I still run as slow as I ever did, which is slower than most people walk btw, even after I bought all that stuff. Mr. Dashing says I started working out just so I could legitimately buy something from Lulu Lemon. He may be on to something, because I certainly like shopping more than running.
I went on a run this morning, but I use “run” loosely because it’s more like a “run until I think I’m going to die, and then walk, and then run till I think I’m going to die again” until the torture is over.
There is natural pond near the hood that we call Lama Lake. It’s more like a water shed, nature preserve type area with a walking path around it, and it’s pretty Zen. If I round the lake, snake through the neighborhood, and cut through the green belt, I can get in 3 miles of “running.” This is my regular loop (shh, don’t tell any stalkers.)
This morning, I got behind a walker. I was “running” and he was walking. I was making my normal running sounds- the clomping, the heavy breathing, the snorting-back-snot type sounds, and I guess Mr. Walker Guy could hear me coming. The thing is, I couldn’t pass him. I was too slow. He kept looking back expecting me to pass him with all my heavy breathing, but I couldn’t. I ran slower than he walked. It’s a pitiful confession, really. But there it is. My slow running must have thrown his walking Zen into a jugger not, because the third time he looked back, his face was scrunchy and perturbed. So I did what any experienced runner would do- I faked a pulled muscle and said in a too-loud voice, “Oh, darn looks like I’ll be walking the rest of way,” just to keep him from looking back at me again with his grumpy face.
Walk on walking guy, walk on! I won’t be harassing you with my heavy breathing anymore. I’ll just sit this one out! Me and my racing stripes!
Me looking, sounding, and dressing like a runner must have given him the impression I was fast. This got me to thinking…. what if success only requires you to LOOK like you know what you’re doing? Then I thought of one of my favorite stories.
Do you remember Bo Duke from the television series The Dukes of Hazzard? Of course you do! Who’m I talkin’ to?! You’re you! You watched it religiously, just like me. Bo was the heart-throb blond in the Bo and Luke Duke cousin duo. The Duke boys were famous for getting into trouble, jumping the General Lee over broken bridges, and taunting Rosco P.Coltrain and Boss Hogg. Bo was played by John Schneider, and he was the younger, wild one of the two cousins. Luke was my personal favorite because he was smart and level headed. So when my childhood friend, Jenna wanted to play Dukes of Hazzard on the play ground, she always got Bo, and I got Luke. Those of you who know Mr. Dashing, know I married a “Luke.”
Well, a few years back, I saw John Schneider interviewed on how he got the role as Bo. He was an unlikely choice, because he was born and raised in Mt. Kisco, NY and didn’t have any experience with southern talk, walk or mentality. So when the opportunity came to audition, he prepared. He borrowed his friend’s truck and went four-wheelin’ in the country, he got it stuck in the mud, and dug it out. He grew out his beard, and he practiced his southern drawl. He said he wanted the role so bad, he got completely in character and stayed in character for days until the auditions. He auditioned for the role dressed like a country boy, talking like a country boy, holding a beer can and claiming he was actually from Snellville, Georgia. He was so convincing, the casting director had to say yes. The rest is history.
I figure that John Schneider has the secret sauce. I figure we can apply his method to almost anything and be successful, if we have the confidence and tenacity to follow it through. Showing up for the first day on the job, having the difficult conversations with your kids, asking for that raise, volunteer coaching a sport you never played, teaching a class for the first time, or just trying something new. These activities take some fake-it-till-you-make-it type confidence. Imagine yourself successful at the thing you want. Get into character. Act as if it were already so, and stick with it until it’s reality.
That’s why I buy running gear. And damn, do I look fast. Watch out Mr. Walking Guy…. I’m right behind you.