I started the day with this thought: Get out of my way, Usain Bolt.
Yes, I often think about Mr. Bolt, the “supposed” fastest man in the world. I say “supposed” because Mr. Bolt has never seen me run. I am, to borrow a phrase from my favorite TV show as a kid, faster than a speeding bullet.
No, I’ve never competed in the Olympics. Because I have nothing to prove. I know how fast I am and that’s all that’s important.
I could, if I cared to, smoke Mr. Bolt. And if he were perchance to dream of challenging me, this would be my reply. “Usain? Ucrazy!”
Now, I admit in my youth, I was somewhat of a slowpoke. I think I was timed in the 100-yard dash in two and a half minutes. Maybe it was three.
But I worked hard on my quickness and speed and there came a time nobody, and I mean nobody, could beat me from the car to the front door of McDonald’s. I left skid marks on the pavement I was so fast.
Anyway, I woke up today as I do most mornings thinking Usain ain’t got nothing on me.
Then I went to the gym.
I recently joined a rec center owned by Beaufort County here in beautiful South Carolina. It has an indoor walking track that I normally own. Normally as in I’m normally the only person on the track. But still.
Today started like most days, with me motoring around the track so fast that the breeze I created was pushing the hat off my head.
Then something remarkable happened. A young woman sauntered past me. When I say sauntered I mean she was, um, sauntering. Ambling. Moseying. Meandering.
She wasn’t walking fast. More like, slow. Very, very slow. Kind of, uh, sluggish like.
I picked up my pace. She wasn’t going to pass me, no sir. About five seconds later she was out of sight.
OK, maybe I’ve slowed some. I just turned 70 after all.
But, I told myself, you’re still a speed demon.
And then an old woman sped past me.
Pushing her walker.
She has an advantage, I thought. She’s so bent over her nose is touching the ground, helping her inch along.
Unfair, I shouted. Cheater.
Everybody looked at me. Looked at her. Looked at me. And burst out laughing.
I was never so humiliated.
Ever heard of Usain Bolt? I asked the guffawers. He’s scared of me.
I picked up my pace. I was going to catch that old woman, obviously a relative of Usain’s, if it was the last thing I did. I became a blur. She became a small dot on the horizon.
By the time I finished, I was sweating and winded. Back to my car, I slunk. Took me 10 minutes to get into it, but once there, you can’t believe how fast I was in getting to the nearest McDonald’s.
Take that Usain.