[Originally published February 12, 2012.]
Dear Fastest Sir,
I am writing to you on this fine day not just out of admiration for your athletic prowess, as so many others no doubt already have, but also to express my solidarity with your cause. I know that great men of your ilk are often beleaguered by isolation; your life has transcended the paltry understanding of the masses, and you must feel very alone. But I reach out to you today to inform you that your greatness is not lost on me.
To begin, let me go on record as saying that you are, undoubtedly, the fastest jogger at the park. You burst out of the wooded thicket and into my sight like a firework of sweat and sleevelessness amidst Sunday’s leisurely banality. Kicking up a trail of dirt and pebbles, you weaved and dodged through the crowded walking path like Hermes in Raybans, and I could not look away.
What was, moments before, a scene yawning with the Seraut’s malaise, you transformed into a dazzling stage for your Olympian performance. Head down, arms slicing through obstructing air, you sped between the elderly and over the disabled—a breathtaking demonstration in speed and agility.
“On your left!” you yelled to some sauntering herd as you careened around the walking path’s gentle bend, but the family of ignoramuses couldn’t make even the simplest of inductions, so rather than stepping collectively to the right and letting you pass unobstructed, they turned toward you like dumbfounded animals, only to scatter clumsily as you exploded past, forcing you to practically hurdle two elderly women trying to feed some ducks.
And that was not your only brush with disaster! Confronted by those two toddlers meandering aimlessly about by the lakefront, a lesser man would have knocked at least one of them down the precipice and into the water below, but you are as lithe as you are powerful! You bolted between them, averting collision with your iron will and your impeccable coordination, sending the one with the Mickey Mouse hat to tears out of the sheer grandeur of the moment in which she had participated. Though their mother gestured indignantly at your fast-vanishing shadow, you should not be distressed. There are many who do not understand the nature of your work, but you must not feel obligated to dignify their sniveling ignorance with your attention, least of all for those who cannot recognize the precise, deliberate manner in which you stampede between their infant children.
I do admit that it is troubling to consider the injustice of your position. What kind of society do we live in, after all, when our übermensch are forced to commingle with the apathetic dregs-pseudo-practitioners of the fitness arts who treat a run in the park like a stroll in the park? Ambling listlessly, these lazy Sunday walkers tend to take up all of the best sprinting routes at all of the best sprinting times, leaving men of your caliber no choice but to risk life and limb dodging their obstructing girth. Watching them endanger you time and time again this afternoon nearly drove me insane!
But I wonder, am I projecting my resentment? Are you even bothered by the peril and dishonor of being forced to blaze your glorious trail amongst contemptuous indifference to your need for space? You may be filled with righteous indignation, fastest jogger at the park, but you did not show it today. From the moment you exploded into my life at the forest’s entrance until you disappeared from my sight in the midst of those skittish Japanese tourists, you wore a countenance of singular determination.
I like to believe that, when you reach your full velocity, you are transported to a zen state of ancient, primal satisfaction; unconcerned by the petty misunderstandings of the surrounding world, you are like a wild horse running at full gallop down the halls of a retirement home, blissfully indifferent to the decrepit minds that can’t even decide if the wonderful creature bearing thunderously down on them is a horse, or a steam-engine, or their nephew Theodore making a fuss about the pantry being empty when he’s had more than enough sweets for one day.
Yes, there were many at the park today who didn’t seem to understand the sublime feats of speed and agility that you were carrying out in their midst, precipitously close to their toddlers; but I saw you, fastest jogger at the park, and if the Gods find me a worthy vessel for the tale of one so fast, I will dedicate my life to singing your deeds.
Sprint on, my friend!