Track Record

Richardson_07012014_6x5The young woman running North Myrtle Beach’s Ocean Boulevard was tall, tone and slender. She had mahogany skin and matching hair that fell long and straight down her back, swinging like a metronome as she ran the sidewalk between high rises. I pegged her as an ex-volleyball player: graceful, athletic, with short bursts of speed and power as she crossed streets.

Even in a land of beach-ready abs and perma-tans, she drew attention. Guys flashed smiles, gave a wave or said hey as they passed. I was a half block behind her for the better part of ten minutes. And all that time, as I’m watching her hair sweep and legs stretch, the muscles in her back flex, I can’t shake a thought: She’s overpronating.

This term courtesy my sister, who runs marathons and mountain trails and could likely haul me down one of Colorado’s fourteeners should the need arise, which it would, if I accidentally made it up one.

Overpronating, as my sister tells it, is when your foot rolls inward in exaggerated fashion as you run. Not good, this. It compromises your stability and it’s hard on your ankles. It also spoils an otherwise beautiful gate.

Once you see it, you can’t not notice.

And once you notice, you’re obligated to say something, yes?

Of course you are.

After a mile or so she caught up with a woman of the same height, same build, same power and grace–but older. Likely her mother. She pulled up to a stop. In a few seconds I was along side. “Overpronating. Left foot. Enjoy your day.”

I was gone before she could thank me.

***

If you’ve participated in National Novel Writing Month, you probably know the event’s little brother kicked off today. While the November WriMo asks writers to produce 50,000 words in 30 days, the July iteration is more of a “Eh, just write,” frame of mind. It still offers forums, pep talks, and a sense of community. But you set your own word count, and you’re invited to write poetry, prose, movie scripts, ransom notes–pretty much anything you please.

It’s still a challenge, but there’s less frantic key clacking involved, and far fewer all night and weekend marathon writing sessions.

I’ve been pretty poor about producing fiction in recent months, and I thought kicking comments to and fro with other folks doing the July event might provide the push I need. Most folks who write at a day job will tell you it’s dodgy, trying to keep to a word count after hours. I write at my day job. I’m dodgy. And I’m trying to keep a word count after hours.

At the end of day one, I’m at 502 words. I was shooting for 750. At this pace, by Friday, I’ll be 1,000 words behind.

I’m sure I’ll catch up on the weekend. If you listen closely, you’ll hear frantic key clacking during an all night or weekend marathon writing session…

 ***

If you’re playing along with Chantelle Ellem’s photoaday prompts at Fat Mum Slim, today’s shot prompt was Red + White. My shot is of an excellent place to plot, ponder and dream. While I was admiring the late afternoon light and trying to find my photo, a trio of walkers passed me. Made me feel foolish, being caught unawares.

Then a friend commented that I shouldn’t feel self-conscious for “doing what you do best.”

Wise words, these. And lovely, lovely, lovely.

By the way, if you’re wondering, yes I have trouble keeping to my lane…