Last Sunday was my final really long joggling training run for the London marathon. 20 miles of pure joggling fun. Typical of this year’s Chicago winter, it was snowy. The bulk of the snow fell on Saturday so what was left were patches of ice, crunchy snow banks and mounds of mud mixed ice crystals lining the running path. March snow is the ugliest.
As I joggled home along North Avenue I felt great. 18 miles were done and only 2 more until my Gatorade and 100 Grand candy bar refueling at the local Walgreens. If you’re going to have a candy bar, the 100 Grand bar has been proven to be the best choice.
The CTA bus I had been racing the last mile and a half pulled past me for the fourth time. Each time, I turned my head and smiled at the passengers as they pressed their cheeks on the windows gawking at this urban oddity. Don’t be mislead, joggling is a showy sport.
This time however, my Gballz grew tired of my antics. After 150 minutes of allowing me mastery over their molecular motion, one went Steelkilt on me and dove to the ground. It splashed down into a black, gooey, briny puddle and came out covered like a Prince Sound otter in March of 1989.
I rescued the rogue ultraleather ball from the black soup and held it between my thumb and forefinger like a dipped colored Easter Egg. It’s shiny yellow hue would never return. A quick wipe-down with my Under Armour gloves removed the bulk of the sludge, but some was pressed into the pores and pentagram creases. This traitor would be marked forever.
In the final mile, the Gballz returned to their purposeful pattern obeying the infinity sign stretched in front of me. The marked maven gave no impression of its rebellious act. Throw, catch, throw, catch.
As jogglers, we feel like we control the objects rising and falling in front of us. But they are there only as long as they want. Like trained wild animals, they’ll behave perfectly until one moment they turn on you making you look completely foolish in front of a bus full of people.