heads in the dark

i circled the back of the outer gravel track, the one-kilometer loop that threaded out of the lit stadium area and traveled through mud and under trees and behind tennis courts. in the dark grassy area, i saw an orderly line of figures, what looked at first like several dozen people crouched down as if they were practicing sprinting out of blocks.

we didn't have trainer blocks to use when i was on the sprint team; we lined up against the soccer goals, pressing our feet back against the small rubber wheels they'd be tilted onto while getting rolled into place. the first time i was shown the ready position was the first time i understood why we'd done certain strength and balance training; barely barely barely, keeping your hands a hair behind the invisible line, pressing your body as far over this balance point as you could while maintaining control.

those weren't people practicing their block position; it was a herd of deer, quietly munching on an exceedingly unusual warm late-winter field of grass. in a t-shirt, i still sweat; we broke a previous temperature record by over 25 degrees.

the deer didn't stir when i rounded the bend. they didn't even flinch when i clapped my hands to spook them. they had better things to do than worry about me.

20 February 2018 23:15

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