“It’s a simple choice: we can all be good boys and wear our letter sweaters around and get our little degrees and find some nice girl to settle, you know, down with . . . take up what a friend of ours calls the hearty challenges of lawn care.”
“Or what? What’s your alternative?” She leaned over trying to get him back on track. He looked at her, surprised; his eyes lit up as they had earlier and his voice shook again with excitement.
“Or we can blaze! Become legends in our own time, strike fear in the heart of mediocre talent everywhere! We can scald dogs, put records out of reach! Make the stands gasp as we blow into an unearthly kick from three hundred yards out! We can become God’s own messengers delivering the dreaded scrolls! We can race dark Satan till he wheezes fiery cinders down the back straightaway!” He was full into it now.
They’ll speak our names in hushed tones, ‘Those guys are animals,’ they’ll say! We can lay it on the line, bust a gut, show them a clean pair of heels. We can sprint the turn on a spring breeze and feel the winter leave our feet!”
Andrea leaned back in the booth, wide eyed, and swallowed.
“We can, by God, let our demons loose and just wail on!”
– Once A Runner, John L. Parker Jr.