On the Road Again

This has little to do with playwrighting or children’s theatre.  I didn’t ask KMR Scripts if it was okay for me to write about this– but I’m just going to go ahead and do it.  In a way, EVERYTHING affects my playwrighting, so….

I grew up in the shadow of a Track star.  My older brother, Jeff, was a really good runner in High School.  He won races and broke records.  His nickname was RATS (backwards for STAR). I would see him get up and go running in the mornings, I’d see him win his races at Track and Cross Country meets.  He got a scholorship to run in college.  He was right below Dad in my eyes (who, in turn, was right below God).  I listened to ever word he told me about running and training.

“Don’t smoke.”  “Don’t do drugs.” “Thee weeks to build it– 3 days to lose it.” “Fartlek.” “Attack the hill.” “You’re only hurting yourself.”

I remember getting up before school and meeting a neighborhood buddy to run 4-5 miles each morning during Jr High school.  I remember being bored on a hot (for northern Indiana) afternoon and running the 5-6 miles to our church and back, just for something to do.  I remember countless runs along countless country roads during my High School years. I was on the Cross Country squad in the Fall and I was a hurdler, high jumper, and mile/2 mile relay leg during Track season.

Then during my college years, I transformed into a casual runner.  I played a lot of racquetball, basketball, and swimming,  so I only went running when I found myself lacking in physical activity– or getting ready for a 5K or 25K road run.  I could go a month without running and jump into a 25K run.  I didn’t win– but I didn’t walk any of it and I wasn’t last.  At 6 feet- one inches, I weighed about 165 lbs.

After college, I was performing all the time and that keeps you in great shape.  I hit thirty and with that came the obligatory “spare tire” around the gut (I had gained perhaps 20 lbs since my college days– so it wasn’t THAT bad).  I couldn’t afford to join a gym, so the easiest exercise I could manage was, again, running.  Running through downtown Wichita was nothing like running the country roads of Indiana or Missouri.  It was there that I heard the words that still ring in my ears to this day.  Of all my running memories, this is the one that I remember, this is the one that made me stop running:  “Yeah, you run off that gut, fatso!”

I haven’t run since.  Until today.

Poor, poor, pitiful me.

I’m now up to 230 lbs.  High blood pressure, high cholesterol– ‘course those are mostly due to my heredity.  I tried dealing with them through execise and diet– but nothing helped but prescriptions.  I don’t do much physical activity.  I’ll play basketball or four-square with the kids– but that’s about it.  I sit at a computer all day long.

I’m experiencing the usual “blahs” that fifty year-old guys have:  chronic fatigue, chronic sleep deprivation, minor depression, lethargy, winded just by walking up stairs.  I’m a joy to be around.  Ha.

Within the last year or so, I started thinking about running again.  I have a cousin, Chris, that I remember ran during Jr high/high school years.  He was the most dedicated runner I ever met– though he wasn’t a “star.”  He ran his butt off.  Forty years later, he’s still running.  He has the same heredity as I.  I’ve even begun dreaming about running.  That tells me that I should begin running again.  So, today I did.

Every day I run, I’ll be entering a post.  Partly to motivate me to run (you’ll know if I slack off), and partly to help me get new memories stuck in my head so I can forget the one I have now.

——————————–

Tuesday, August 30, 2011 6:30 am

Ran the neighborhood loop (1 mi).  I say ran– I ran/walked.  Actually, I walked/ran.  Ha.  I could feel the old feelings of muscles working, balance centering, rhythmic breathing, etc.  Afterwards, I felt the tingle in my muscles and my feet as though they were saying, “Oh, I remember this!”  The 5-10 people I passed in their yards or in cars all waved politely or said “good morning.”  I think this is a good neighborhood to start up in again.

 Cousin Chris, and Coach Sellers (my ol’ track coach) would be proud.

About Kevin

Playwright and owner of KMR Scripts. Though it may appear to be a multimillion dollar conglomeration, KMR Scripts has a VERY small staff. I grew up in N Indiana, Mom and Dad and us 4 kids. We were upper-lower class as far as family income-- but Mom and Dad were great at not letting us know. During my high school years I thought I wanted to be a minister, but after an internship-- I decided on Theatre instead. I got a BA in Theatre at School of the Ozarks and did work on a Master of Performing Arts degree in Musical Theatre at Oklahoma City University. I left that program after 4 years, having completed all my training (reached all required proficiencies) but didn't want to do a paper. I roamed the Midwest for about 5 years working at various non-union theatres. My goal was to eventually end up in NYC, but ended up settling in Wichita, KS, working at Wichita Children's Theatre under John Boldenow and Monica Flynn. I fell in love with Children's Theatre. I joined the professional touring company in 1988, became the Tour Manager in 1989 and stayed with WCT until 1996. It was there that I wrote my first musical (Little Red Riding Hood-1993) and ended up directing, teaching, and writing for the theatre while managing the touring company. After I got married and started having kids, we wanted one of us to be at home with the kids (no day care) so I left WCT and concentrated on being a stay-at-home Dad, playwrighting and marketing my shows. It was the best decision I ever made.
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