I almost got into a fight in the locker room at the gym the other day.
Right now, Running and I are casually dating. Really, Running has quite a few personality things that, frankly, I just hate. Like you know how Running sort of mocks and looks down on everybody that doesn’t run. I just think that’s rude and the other night, over dinner, I told Running just that. Running looked back at me with this look that was a mixture of puzzlement and smugness. That smugness is another thing I’m gonna have trouble getting over. It might keep this relationship from going to the next level. I hate smugness. It’s not a good quality.
And I hate anybody being judgmental. Oh yeah, and I hate intolerance! Can’t stand intolerant people.
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The other thing about Running that bugs me is that Running is painful. I know all relationships have their painful sides, but almost every time Running and I spend time together, I get hurt. It would be one thing if Running hurt me in different places – in different ways, but with R (I’ll refer to R from now on . . . it’s my pet name for . . .well, . . .) it’s almost always the knees that hurt. Come on . . . can’t you spread the pain around?
And R is picky about what I wear. Geez. I like my old comfortable Solomon sneaks with the cool lacing system. One pull, all done! R says they’re ok for walking but not good enough for this relationship. See, I already feel like R is trying to change me! So you don’t want to be seen out with me wearing these?? Huh? Huh? So, after lunch the other day, my wife takes me to a store to pick out some new shoes that are appropriate for this relationship.
Megan knows a thing or two about shoes. And I’m not just talking about Tori Birch, I’m talking about running shoes. She’s got a years of coaching under her belt – major high school track programs and more. She’s spent time running clinics at the Olympic Training Center in California. So when she helps me pick out the right shoes for my new thing, she knows of what she speaks. “Too small.” “But they feel good to me.” “Your toes will fall off.” (That’s an actual quote) “Well, I certainly don’t want my toes to fall off.” “OK, you’ll need the next size up.” “Thanks for saving my toes, babe.”
I don’t know what’s going on but it seems like, either my feet are still growing or shoe makers are fiddling around with sizes just to mess with me.
So I leave with my new sneaks and my wife says they’re the best. And sure enough, on the first date with R, they do make a major difference. I’m ok with this. As long as the fashion changes stop with shoes, I’m really ok with it. If R starts making subtle suggestions about some of my old T-shirts, I’ll have to reconsider the whole thing.
But as it stands now, we’re getting along fine.
So back to the almost fight.
I’d just finished a painful date with R (this was before the new shoes) and I was a little sore anyway and probably a little irritated. There were these two guys talking loud and being tough guys in the locker room. They don’t call it “locker room language” for no reason. Dropping F bombs all over the place. I have to say, they were creative. They used the word in all forms of their sentences. Verbs, Nouns, adjectives, first syllables, middle syllables.
Finally, I said in a very temperate, calm voice,
“Hey, guys could you watch your language?”
“Who said that?”
The guy next to me sells me out without flinching!
“It was this guy.”
Thanks, pal. Hey, maybe we could be friends and hang out.
“There are kids coming in and out of here and they don’t need to hear this,” I said.
“There ain’t no kids in here . . .we’re grown men.”
“OK,” I said “then how about this . . . I don’t want to hear it. How about that?”
“I don’t care what you want, man.”
I shook my head and left without injury. But with my heart rate elevated to a level I usually achieve only when dating R.
I get so tired of the dirt out there and I know there’s little any of us can do about it. It’s hard to think. It’s hard to have a pure heart these days. Billboards, radio, television. Junk.
“Finally brethren whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” Philippians 4: 8
I’m going to try and further my relationship with Pure Heart this year, too.