Monday, March 22, 2021

I am the James T. Kirk of suburban dad walkers

A few months ago, I told you about the two-week, 250-mile walk I plan to do this coming June. The walk will take me from Dansville, a village in Western New York, to Olmsted Township, Ohio, the headquarters of my employer Vitamix.

It all has to do with our company's 100th anniversary, and the reasons for it are explained in that linked post above.

As you might imagine, with less than 11 weeks to go before I begin this journey, I am walking a significant number of training miles. Usually 40+ miles a week, which includes what are now double-digit-mile Saturday/Sunday long walks.

When you're going to be logging 15-20 miles a day for 14 consecutive days, your body and brain need time to adjust. A 250-mile walk is no joke.

I am pushing myself through this training schedule in a way I have not pushed myself since I ran my one and only full-length, 26.2-mile marathon back in 2001. Some days my body is up for the challenge, other days not so much.

But I still walk through the not-so-much days because I have decided I cannot fail. I will not fail.

It quickly becomes a battle between me and my body. And it's very much like an episode of Star Trek.

ME (Capt. Kirk): Legs, the pace is slowing. Give me more.


ME: You will increase the pace. NOW.


ME: So help me, if you don't start walking faster this minute, I will take off these lycras and let you freeze in the icy 30-degree Northeast Ohio morning.


ME: Then maybe you'll learn your lesson! I am James Tiberius Kirk, king of the suburban streets! You will listen to me and you will listen good! Kirk out...

With that crisis solved, I suddenly hear from my eyes, the Lieutenant Uhura of my body whose job it is to communicate potential crises.

MY EYES: Captain, I detect steep hills ahead. Given that we just did a tough hill workout yesterday and the legs are reporting trouble, perhaps we should change our route.

ME: Another mutinous crew member! I will not wuss out. Keep your little warnings to yourself, Lieutenant.

MY EYES: Fine...jerk.

ME: What did you say?

MY EYES: Nothing, Captain.

ME: That's right you didn't.

As I hobble into the driveway and enter my home, this is when the Mr. Spock of my life, my wife Terry, enters the picture. I report to her proudly that I have completed today's long walk, though I may be experiencing intense leg fatigue, which is really nothing.

By the way, this seems like a good time to show you a video. One of the places Terry and I visited on our honeymoon back in 1992 was Universal Studios in Orlando. While there, I coaxed her into recording a simulated "screen test" in which I played Captain Kirk and she played Mr. Spock, and we were digitally inserted into scenes with many of the original Star Trek characters (or at least as well "digitally inserted" as theme park technology could support back then).

Terry not only had to act, she also had to wear pointy Vulcan ears. It was one of the top 5 greatest moments of my life. Take a look:

Wasn't that great? I will admit my portrayal of Kirk will not win me any awards, but really, I feel like Terry as the Vulcan was the real star anyway.

Terry hears my tale of woe and responds in true wet blanket, Mr. Spock fashion.

TERRY: Maybe you should take a day off.

ME: I will hear no talk of days off! Do you know who I am? I say when it's time to take a day off, and no one else. Now excuse me while I go smother my legs in Ben Gay

And so on. This all happens constantly, and I'm happy to say that, so far, I am injury-free and pushing ahead.

It could all still end badly, of course, but I will continue going where no middle-aged dad has gone before (except for the ones who have).


  1. That was great! Keep pushing forward and don't look back! Jess...out!

  2. Replies
    1. Yeah, I've gotten away from that since my running days. Will reimplement a post-walk stretching routine because it's so important.