This past Saturday was a wonderful day for the Nitmos clan. Time for the annual Michigan Mile: A one mile fun run for the kids starting at Oldsmobile Park in downtown Lansing (home of the class A Toronto Blue Jays minor league affiliate the Lansing Lugnuts) and looping around the outside of the park and back ending at home plate. It’s a great event and one my kids do well in. Far be it for me to suggest my kids are better than yours though. This is not the proper space for that.*
At this point, I have trained my kids well and see them as little more than objects to do my biding. I had a filly, aged 6, and a colt, aged 10, running in the event. They were under strict orders to not embarrass their Dad in any way. The race strategy was simple: Pull, bite, or kick your way to the front and then punch, gouge and expectorate (+2) on all challengers before passing the finish line in a gallant backwards trot. If some jerk dared to pass and the race strategy could not be employed, collapse to the ground feigning injury and, if possible, blame the winner for the maiming.
It’s a simple tenet that forms the cornerstone of the Nitmos philosophy: Win Cheating or Lose Blaming.
I watched with maniacal, hand-rubbing glee as my colt lined up with the other 10 year olds for the start. He was off like a shot! Not nearly enough punching to suit my tastes but the little bugger was near the front! Outside the stadium, I caught him rounding the corner in 7th place. A careful intrusion of my foot onto the course instantly vaulted him to 5th! Trippy McFallsalot and Ima Poorhurdler wailed in pain as I retreated back inside the stadium for the finish.
In through the center field fence they galloped. But where is my colt??? There he is in 6th place. Clearly, he knew by now his favorite goldfish would be in for a one way swim down the family’s mini “whirlpool”. Sixth!? But wait. Another kid, Slowy McPuffsalot, made a move on the outside 30 yards from the finish. My colt was in danger of falling to 7th (and missing dinner!)
“Push him in the head!” I yelled like your average proud father. “Destroy his soul!”
Instead, my colt dug deep and rejected his training. He sped up! Poor race strategy, if you ask me. It’s always better to immobilize your competitors. Alas, his plan worked. My colt came in 6th out of roughly 200. He posted a mile time of 5:47 (mile distance yet to be officially verified). But as I explained to him, ‘you are the first kid across who isn’t on steroids. All of the other kids are cheaters.’ I gave him a nice tussle of his hair. Then reminded him we had to flush his goldfish down the toilet. Sixth is not the new first after all.
My filly was up next. Due to her age, I would be running with her which was fine by me. This time I could make sure proper race strategy was employed. Last year, she sprinted out quickly apparently misunderstanding “one mile race” with “20 yard dash” and we walked much of the way. This year, she started with a nice even pace.
I launched into my “helicopter technique” on a few occasions to clear some needed running lanes. My filly trudged on with nice even strides. This time, she made it the entire way without stopping to walk at all. Her time was almost exactly 9 minutes. A solid effort. But not solid enough to save the heads of three more dolls which would be ritually lopped off later that evening. She finished roughly 30th of 200 but around 7th place of 6 year old fillies.
After both races were complete, it was time for another important life lesson: post race gloating. I made sure to mention to any parents I knew how proud I was when my kids came in so much further ahead of their kids. For those few parents whose kids came in ahead of mine? Well, of course, I barely acknowledged their existence.
Filly and Colt (to be renamed trophy #1 and #2 later this summer)
Another great day at the old ballpark!
* However, this is the proper space down here. My kids are, in fact, better than yours. Sorry about that. Truth hurts.
The Marathon Mama took the time to let us all know everything we accepted as fact is, in fact, not fact.
Congratulations to Mir for setting a new PR and getting within BQ range!
Don't miss sRod's irregular series profiling Gym Carnies! We've all seen and smelled them.
Also, don't forget to influence my next book selection by voting in Monday's post poll. As Topher pointed out, you'll be staring at the book cover for, potentially, the next several months so vote wisely.