We don’t like to brag around our house; it’s uncouth and generally embarrassing. We sometimes make exceptions, but they are always subtle and tasteful.
Sunday night at our childbirth class, we were talking to one of our fellow birthers and I heard a word from a past life: ‘race’. Was this NASCAR, or the dragstrip, or the horse track, or a 5K? So I inquired of this fellow future father, and found out that he had raced his bicycle in a criterion that morning. Sweet.
I gave him props, dropped the names of all of the badass local racers I know, and mentioned a couple of local spots where I’ve seen the spadex-clad super-athletes congregate. So far, so good.
Next, I embarked on one of my dangerous and highly speculative hobbies—I call it Tenuous and Fatal Comparisons to Childbirth. Which I qualified a bit, and offered my running experience as a reference point, and then just jumped right in to. “Do you ever wonder how that feeling of complete fatigue and pain and naked willpower compares to childbirth?” He answered wisely, pointing out the many and varied ways in which the comparison was inadequate, and the four of us talked about exercise and exhaustion and fears about childbirth.
Then, he circled back and queried me about my marathon experience. Which I usually return with deference by mentioning a couple of races I’ve run in the area, and inquiring about the interlocutor’s athletic achievements. But the wife interrupted.
“He’s run the Marine Corp Marathon, and Richmond…” There was a rhythm to her words.
‘She’s doing it’, I thought, ‘she’s throwing down!’
She continued, calmly chronicling my marathon resume, moving toward its inexorable, understated conclusion. I watched with a wry smile and waited. But at the critical moment, some door closed or something, taking the punch out of the key word.
Which only deterred her for a second, before she rocked back and brought the knockout punch right up the middle.
“He’s run Boston,” she sparkled, “twice.”