Tuesday, June 2, 2009


it really wasn’t fair to Skip Richards
he ran more
trained harder
and was more than
a hundred percent
but his body just wouldn’t deliver
he didn’t have the makings
of an athlete
and this really irritated him
he’d come over to my house
after cross country practice
after we’d been running up hills
and stretching
and sometimes lifting weights
he’d come over and yell,
“it’s just bullshit! I work my ass off
and still I’m the slowest guy
on the team!”
and it was true
Skip Richards just wasn’t cut out
to be faster or stronger
he’d pull up his shirt
reveal a smooth stomach and say,
“look at this! I don’t even have
the shadow of a six pack!
I do two thousand sit ups a day!”
“two thousand?” I’d ask,
supposing he was exaggerating
“I’m telling you, two thousand! Watch!”
then he’d lie right down
on the floor
and start doing sets
of a hundred sit ups
one hundred
two hundred
three hundred
it was incredible
fucking unbelievable
he was a sit up machine
he was born to sit up
lean back
and sit up again
around eight hundred I’d look away
finding it hard to watch the son of a bitch
do that many sit ups
nobody could do that many sit ups
I tried to figure out
how he was doing it
how he could do that many sit ups
and maintain such smooth abs
an almost baby-like stomach
but there was no trick
he had a body
that simply wouldn’t
respond to training
he’d run his ass off
all season long
but his times remained the same
and his body remained the same
and nothing for him ever changed
but a hell of a heart he had
because season after season
year after year
he stuck with it
kept busting his ass during the workouts
putting in one hundred percent
even though on the team
he was always number seven
when only the first five counted

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