What is Really Old, Kind of Funny, and Has Lots of Hair?

image There’s a group of students that frequents the track on a similar schedule to my own. They normally walk the outer lanes in pairs and a few of them have faculty chaperones. I run by and they wave, I wave back, we make funny faces at each other as I pass, exchange a “hello!” or sometimes just make weird noises and grunts at each other. Everyone seems pleased with these interactions. These are the special education kids, and they’re the only high school students I know who actually think I’m cool.

The other high school students I see regularly are the kids at swim practice. “Cool” is not a word that any of them would use to describe me. Saturday I was introduced to a new kid. “This is Ben, he’s really old, kind imageof funny, and he has lots of hair.” As far as I can tell there are only two people on the team that look up to me. One who goes to the same high school I went to and was recently accepted to Columbia University (he’s obviously destined for greatness) and one who aspires to be a triathlete (also a very smart kid). But alas, looking up to me just reinforces the “really old” descriptor, and further separates me from the coveted “cool” status that I lacked even when I was myself a 17 year old high school student with more pimples than brains. Maybe someday I’ll teach physics and the kids will call me “cool” because I show them a proof that their least favorite teacher falls from the roof at the same rate as the rival school’s mascot.

Anyway, back to the Special Ed kids that actually like me…

Last week I showed up at the track to find my favorite group of students riding tricycles around the track in lane one, and one of their teachers walking around bouncing a basketball in lane one as well. This got me a little irritated. I mean, it’s not the students’ fault, they have no idea that they’re not supposed to be walking in the inside lane, let alone riding bikes!! I made a mental note that the school must be informed of this disgraceful use of our community’s brand new all-weather track, then began warming up in the outside lanes. I was running the opposite direction as the tricyclists, and at about the same speed, so I saw each of them twice a lap. One kid, who was riding by when I rolled up on my shiny Beyond Fabrications speed machine, took an immediate liking to me. As I ran by the first time he waved at me with googlie eyes – I waved back enthusiastically and said “HI!!!”. The second time he blew me a kiss – I waved back again, wondering if I had been too enthusiastic. The third time he waved, blew a kiss, shouted “HELLOO!!” AND gave me the googlie eyes – I definitely had been too enthusiastic, I responded with a mere “hi” and smiled. After that he had to give up his trike to let one of the other students have a turn, and then his PE period was over so he and the others all left. I’m guessing if he were to introduce me to a new kid it would have sounded something like this: “This is Ben, he’s really fast and awesome, and has the sweetest bike that anyone has ever seen, and his afro looks awesome ‘cause he is the COOLEST!!!”

I may never be as cool to any high school kid again, and we didn’t even got to say “BYEEE!!!”

Published by Ben

Ben Collins Professional Triathlete

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  1. ah, but that least favorite teacher would only fall at the same rate as the mascot if he/she has the same drag coefficient which in turn is directly related to their frontal area. I would bet that the mascot would fall at a slower rate due to a larger drag coefficient attributed to their costume, although probably only microseconds slower for, say, a couple story drop. Now, if that mascot wore an aero helmet, it might be a different story….

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