دونده

کتاب: زندگی در چند بخش / فصل 36

دونده

توضیح مختصر

  • زمان مطالعه 4 دقیقه
  • سطح خیلی سخت

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متن انگلیسی فصل

Runner

In my role as Murdering Maid, I brought actor Javier Grajeda, who played a detective, hand towels. We got to talking as they were setting up a shot, and I told him I wanted to run a marathon. It happened he did, too. We lived close to each other, and we were both starting from scratch. We signed up for the New York City Marathon and started training together. The race was in November. We had a lot of miles to run before then to get ready. We started with short jogs in March, and then we got into a running class, which helped. We did long training runs before dawn. No excuses. No I’m not feeling well, I’m too sore, I can’t make it today. You knew the other guy was going to be there, so you dragged your ass out of bed. We got into it.

When the time came to fly back to New York for the race, we were as ready as we could be, but at the last minute Javier got a job he couldn’t turn down. Good for him. But I wouldn’t have a partner to help push me through the race. Oh well. Then I heard from my friend and former on-screen sister from Loving, Lauren-Marie Taylor. She was going to run. So we decided to do it together.

At the start of the race in Staten Island, women and first-time runners stood on one side, men on the other. Lauren-Marie and I stuck together and we blazed through the crowd, right up to the front of the line. Today, elite runners are separated from amateurs, but in 1985 everyone was mixed in, and we found ourselves standing in a group of elites, feeling mortal and earthbound next to their sinewy grace, warthogs among a herd of gazelles. Just before the starting gun sounded, an elite runner standing in front of me suddenly pulled down her running shorts and underwear and squatted to relieve herself. We were jam-packed, and I couldn’t step away, so I simply straddled her trickling yellow stream as it came toward me.

The gun went off, and Lauren-Marie and I watched the elites blast off and recede into the distance. We ran together for a while and then I moved ahead, wishing her luck. I’d found I could only run consistently with someone who matched my natural gait. Too slow or too fast and I’d burn out.

I got to Brooklyn and I was flying, adrenaline pumping, and I remember hearing the splits as I was running. I was averaging a six-minute mile at mile-marker five. That was too fast. I needed to slow down. Mile ten. I was feeling good! Mile fifteen. Just okay. The course takes you from Staten Island through Brooklyn and Queens, and then back into Manhattan around mile sixteen. Manhattan gave me a boost. Finish line ahead! But “ahead” was actually pretty far away. The course takes you off Manhattan to the Bronx, oh crap, then back into Manhattan. By mile eighteen, I was tanking. I was running in mud. I grabbed Dixie Cups of Gatorade from the side of the road, and I tried to give myself pep talks. Come on, Bryan! I said aloud. I tried to absorb the energy of the crowd. They had inspired me at the outset, but nothing could help me now. I obsessively did the arithmetic—how far I had come and how far I had to go—thinking math might somehow ease the pain.

In a training run just a few months prior, I had hit “the wall,” that dreaded wave of fatigue and bodily revolt. I’d ended up splayed on a sidewalk in Santa Monica and had to crawl to a hose bib, lying on the sidewalk with my mouth open to take in a few drops from the spigot. Somehow I revived myself enough to lurch home. I did not want to repeat that experience during the race, so I’d taken every liquid I’d been offered along the course. I didn’t quite hit the wall, but I was dragging. The race was becoming an ordeal. I wondered if I could finish.

But just then, I saw the finish line. I don’t know if I’d ever experienced such elation. I started dancing. Tears came to my eyes. I caught sight of the exact spot where one year prior I’d leaned against a tree, freshly fired, taking pictures, feeling like a beaten man. I remembered thinking, “I can’t do that.” Now some other guy was there, taking pictures. Of me. Finishing. I would never again say “I can’t do that.” That’s what I told myself. Never again.

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