no goals

Hey, campers. Coach Randy is glad to see you dragged your sorry asses out of bed this morning. But before we get started with our workout, why don’t you rub the sleep from your eyes and listen up?

Coach Randy has a bone to pick.

Thing is, I’m sick and tired of it always being about goals with you.

Listen, I get it. You’re gunning for a BQ at your next marathon . . . You want to race your first 10K after not being able to run 10 feet a few months ago . . . You want to lose 20 pounds in pursuit of a bikini body (yours or somebody else’s).

I get that you’ve got your precious little goals. I’ve got goals. You’ve got goals. Your momma’s got goals. We’ve all got goals.

What’s the big deal with goals, you know? You go to the dang dentist to get a little cavity taken care of–and maybe a quick whitening treatment on the side–and there in the waiting room is some poster staring at you with a sunset photo of a jumping dolphin and some lame-o inspirational quote under the headline “Goals.”

When you fixate on a goal, you miss seeing the forest for the tree, as the saying goes. Although of course we’re not in out in the middle of a dang forest, we’re here in the middle of the city with only one tree in sight. So it makes sense you can get so focused on one tree when there is no forest to be seen. But you get my point. You miss out on all the other pleasures of a run–getting out in the fresh air, breaking a sweat, seeing what there is to see, and all that.

Enough with the goals already. When it’s all about goals it’s all about boring. You can suck the fun out of the run.

So once a week, starting today, Coach Randy is requiring you to run for the fun of it. You fast folk, I want you at the back of the pack. Noboby passes nobody out there. I’ll be tracking you from my ATV, so don’t try any funny business. You know what? Let me hold your watches and phones–all of them. That’s right, moan and groan all you want. But I don’t want you using some satellite triangulation to track your pace and so forth. Today it’s a run for the sake of the run.

I want you to stop and smell the flowers out there, people. No, I mean literally stop running and smell the flowers. You know that little garden in front of that house on the corner of Van Dam Street and Starr Ave? I want you to pull over and smell those flowers. I think they are nasturtiums, although I was never really good about that stuff.

If the codger who lives there gives you any guff for stomping around his turf, just point him my way. That’s my goal today. Make sure nothing gets in the way of you letting go the goals.

For today, anyway. Tomorrow, back to the grind. Speedwork, 6 a.m., at the high school track. Don’t be late. I’m going to make you regret you ever set a goal in the first place.

All right, take off. Get going. Have fun. If I see anybody getting goal-oriented there is going to be hell to pay.