My friend Nancy is a faster runner than I am. So when I run with her, like I did on Saturday, I always have faster finishing times. Even though I can’t quite keep up with her. I was about a minute behind her on Saturday, but 31:34 is my best finishing time yet, so I am pretty happy with it. Hopefully I will be able to cut it under 31:00 sometime soon. (The last race I was in, I ran the entire thing and had a slower time. This time I walked a bit and had a faster time. I can never figure it out.)

The race was a bit disorganized, but the course was good – not too hilly. The storms we’ve had this week meant that the weather was nice and cool. Overall, it was a good race, except for one thing: THE JUGGLER.

You guys, I know this race was for the Greensboro Children’s Museum. But did that mean that the man who passed me when I was walking needed to be JUGGLING? No, he was not wearing a clown suit. No, he was not dressed as a magician. No, he did not appear to be an employee of the museum. He was just a man. Who was running along. And JUGGLING. (I like juggling. My brother can juggle. But there’s juggling and then there’s JUGGLING. The second is what we were dealing with here.)

I will perhaps need to pray for forgiveness about this issue, because I thought many hateful things about THE JUGGLER during the race. First, I wanted to kick him. For showing off. Like a jerk. At least it took my mind off of the running because I was trying to decide if he thought he was being whimsical (answer: NO) or if he thought he was funny (answer: NO) or if he just had no idea how jerkish it looked on the race (answer: possibly, but I still don’t forgive him). Then he dropped some of his juggling balls and I was secretly pleased. Which is, I know, deeply unkind. Exercise is supposed to give you endorphins, but maybe for me it does just the opposite. As we continued running (I felt the need to run again because THE JUGGLER filled me with anger that gave me energy), I considered asking one of the policemen who was monitoring the race to either take him down or to call ahead and have one of the other policemen be ready to take him down. At one point, there were some policemen who were standing together who made a comment about him being crazy. I was so irritated that I actually tried to catch one of their eyes so that someone would sympathize with my disgust. But none of them would make eye contact with me. Mike did not seem distressed by THE JUGGLER. But I? I needed to take him down. (In fact, THE JUGGLER nearly took himself down when he dropped the balls again close to the finish and one of them started rolling into the lane of traffic that wasn’t actually closed.)

I do not know what happened to THE JUGGLER after we all crossed the finish line. I just know that if he and I meet again on another race, I will be ready. To pelt him with rocks. That I will not be juggling, in case you were wondering.

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