Friday, March 18, 2011

The Joy of Six

I love six. It’s such a great number. It was my number when I played tee-ball for Trude’s Hardware as a wee lad. I remember it was my number because there is a cute little picture of me in my blue and yellow Trude’s Hardware uniform holding a bat and wearing a goofy over-sized, straight-brimmed hat (don’t bother to slope the brim for me, I'm good. Thanks Mom and Dad!) with an adorable, slightly mischievous, smile. There’s a giant shiny, ironed-on “6” on my back…the kind of giant number sticker that slowly peels off with each wash. Seriously, it’s priceless. If you saw the photo, you’d purse your lips, go “awwww” and pinch my cheeks. Guaranteed.

I also love six because of its many and varied uses. It’s the perfect way to describe my pack of abs. It’s my favorite number of beers to place on my lap to watch the NCAA tournament (after first clearing the puppy with a gentle arm sweep and yelp). Need to tattoo the mark of the beast on your children? Try doing it with triple fours. You’ll be lucky to get a disgruntled leprechaun. And how else would you know how many possible film roles separate your favorite actor from Kevin Bacon? Want to obtain '36' by multiplying the same number against itself? Yeah, I think you get the point.

Six is good. It’s great in a group but also nice by yourself. Oh – tee hee – I see how that could be misconstrued. Unintended.

Six has been showing up a lot more lately and I’m happy to see it. After a long winter of uneven, slippery surfaces, all of my mile paces started with sevens and, on a few occasions, eights. I wondered if I’d ever see six again.

Then, the snow melted, the temperatures warmed, my Sherpa running gear remained in the closet, and, lo and behold, there are the sixes again. They aren’t as regular as I would like yet. They show up sporadically in my mile splits like pimples on the chin of a “before” Proactiv celebrity. I’d like to fill the Garmin up with sixes like a real pizza face but these things take time. I’ll be content with a six here and a six there and a few sixes clustered over there on the bridge of the nose.

I’ve become such a six fiend that when my 800 interval pace dropped into the fives recently, I became a bit annoyed. Fives?! There was no Five Million Dollar Man. It took all Six Million to make the bionics work. (And seven million is just being wasteful. I think we can all agree on that.)

Next week, my tempo run should return lots of sixes as I kick the half-marathon training into full speed. The sixes will pop up with every beep of the Garmin. The question will become: what six was best? It’ll be a regular battle of the sixes.

Until then, I’m happy to see its sporadic return. Some say that a six is merely a poor man’s nine. An upside down number. A hastily drawn “G”. They don’t respect the six. But a 9 is structurally unsound. The heavy circle hangs precariously on an off-center stem. Just look at it: 9. That thing could collapse at any moment. Name me one engineer that would build something like that. No, a six is where it’s at. More stable. More pleasing to the eye. More loaded with euphemisms. Besides, it even has its own proverb:

A Six in Time Saves Nine

Or something like that.

I’m enjoying the sixes. I hope to enjoy six more often. As a solo runner, it’s something I can directly control. No matter what I do at home, when I lace up the shoes and head out, Mrs. Nitmos can’t possibly withhold six from me.

Happy trails.

24 comments:

Kirstie said...

Congrats on getting your sixes back. Just like Stella got her grove back, I can see a book/movie title: Nitmos get his sixes back.

Cracked up withhold six line. Very clever.

Morgan said...

That last line is priceless... Oh Nitmos, you never cease to crack me up. Congrats getting your sixy back.

GeorgiaSnail said...

be careful, all sixes aren't created equal. just look at Hardee's $6 dollar burger, see where that got them?

I'm bringing sixy back, yep!

The Sean said...

you are funny as a 6 dollar bill

jen said...

I don't have a six joke- oh wait! Something, something Seven ate Nine.

Just wanted to tell you that yours is the best blog I read, hands down. :)

BrianFlash said...

You forgot two more classic uses of 6. First of all, it is Stan Musial's number. Secondly, it is the number of runs you get in cricket when you hit a big fly over the boundry.

Danielle in Iowa in Seattle said...

To quote Chevy Chase in European Vacation: "We are looking for sex!"

Anne said...

I can't believe you wrote a whole post about a number...and that I read the whole thing :) 6666666666666666666666666666666666

One Crazy Penguin said...

I kind of want to go through and count how many times you used the word six and its variations.

This post was sixy. (Get it? A play on the word sexy? Yeah, not really that funny. Sorry I'm sleep deprived.)

Irene said...

Really?

Elizathon said...

Sixes are sick! (in the good way). I am so hip with the lingo of today.

Ironman By Thirty said...

Slow news day on FMS it looks like...

As a math geek, I should also point out that 1+2+3 = 6 and 1*2*3 = 6. 6 is the only number for which both the sum and product of 3 consecutive numbers is the same.

Also, the 6th element is carbon, which we are all made of.

Finally, your life would probably be complete if only you have been born with polydactylism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polydactyly)

danny said...

Personally, I've always been partial to fives. Youth soccer..........5 minute miles........saw the first one pop up last week.........

Beth said...

Six is a great number! All of that extra clothing was weighing you down. Glad you are back in the six zone.

Spike said...

Not to deep six your theory, but there is a dark side to six as well...such as PTSD (post traumatic six disorder): when you see a six pop up on your garmin and you stop from utter shock.

Chanda M. DeFoor said...

Isn't that Satan's number? 666

Drea said...

My son is SIX on his basketball team. His buddy is TWO. He said to his friend, "SIx waved to Two, did you see?" I thought that was cute.

What is wrong with seeing fives? On 800's baby you want to see fours!

D

Aka Alice said...

I cannot believe that Mrs. Nitmos would EVER consider withholding six...with you being so charming and all...

Excellent post!

Jess said...

LOL at your last line. Glad to see that some of your speed is returning now that the weather is starting to get nice again!

Vava said...

I think the engineers building bridges in Quebec are all about the 9...

Sun Runner said...

So once you get a nice crop of sixy pimples, are you going to pop them all over the place to release the pent-up...uh...speed?

Anne said...

So, lately I've been having issues with my blog...related to another 3-letter word that starts with S and ends with X. Yeah, not so good. Which means I've had to change my blog address. So if you ever are tempted to come find out what's up with Anne, that old chick with asthma ;) please come follow my new blog and delete the old one. Here's the new link :)

http://www.anne-asthmaandthegiftofrunning.blogspot.com/

Jess said...

Haha laughed outloud at the last joke. Also, impressed that you see 5s on occasion! I don't think I've seen those since college.

Robin said...

I never tire of six jokes!