one hundred four

“In ten seconds, I’ll ask you to start your first of six intervals,” the electronic coach tells me.

I’m supposed to run as fast as I can for a minute, then jog for two. Lather, rinse, repeat.  What could go wrong in only 60 seconds?

“Start your interval now.”

I kick up my pace.

Suddenly,  I’m trying out for the junior high track team, 3,500 miles and 35 years away, half encouraged / half-bullied by the coach to “put those long legs to use!”

“Yeah, come on, Princess,” mocked an eighth grader who’d never known the subtleties of half-bullying as he flew past me.

I gave my all to catch him, determined this would be the chance to change my image.

The gravelly track slipped from beneath my Converse high tops, my left leg sliding back, right foot reaching ahead to right my balance, ankle turning under as I crumple into the adjoining lane, tripping not only myself but the sprinter next to me (“you asshole,” he shouted), knees knocking elbows, ass against asphalt, skin skidding off shins in a dusty trail of humiliation.

“Slow down to Zone 1,” my eCoach congratulates me. “You’ve completed your first interval.”

Only five more memory jogs to go.