Once I was 16 Years Old



Once I was 16 Years Old

11 PAX gathered at the Blakeney Shopping Center ready to run the Flat Branch route on a muggy Monday. It was 5:15am and we were off. Tuck and Woodson were quick out of the gate, took us off course, but QIC steered the crowd in the right direction. Bunker took charge of the fast guys and left me in my familiar place.

But this morning I was not alone.

Next to me was this tall young kid. I guess when you are short and old everyone looks tall and young in the gloom.

I had only seen him once before at Blakovery and he was so quiet and unassuming I had to ask him his name again. Ranger. He was a college guy. The only other college student I know in F3 is Rosie. But he is typically lapping me, even on a 5-6 mile run. Ranger quickly won my approval when he told me he was not a runner, that he did not like to run, but needed to get in running shape. Me too.

Turns out he is a veteran of F3. At the age of 13, he wanted to play soccer. He could lift a ton but had no cardio endurance. So he would get up early, in the rain, cold, heat, before the bus arrived for middle school, and run.

At the age of 16, his mom told him about F3. So he got up early one Monday and decided to post OYO at Base Camp. He received his name because he wanted to enter the military-jump out of planes or something.

When I was 16, I was more interested in listening to Howard Stern in the morning then running around with a bunch of sweaty old dudes. I think I lifted some weights in our basement with that 1980s Newberry’s weight The one, where you would put water or sand in the plastic plates.

Ranger is currently enrolled at Presbyterian College in South Carolina and plans to enter the military in a year or so as a Lieutenant. This summer he has to go to a few military bases and do alot of army stuff.

For some reason, I feel like this kid is going to make an impact on our world.

I felt fortunate this morning to hear his story. Quite impressive.

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