They say truth is stranger than fiction as the following seeming exaggerations are actually absolutely true. “This body is bound for glory, yes sir this body is bound for glory”
The mile run, grade eight. Short one for the mile run. No problem! Sure I’ll enter. The inspiration for Roger Bannister? No prior running experience … ready – set – go! Leading in a great quarter-mile. Half mile – the view from behind. Three quarter mile – lapped and exhausted. Finish line – last by a mile – crossed like a winner – arms held high.
On to grade nine. Vaulting horse somersault. Attempt after attempt. Finally, with fellow students lining both sides and our coach spotting. Success – wild cheers – hair tousled – “Michael, we knew you could do it.”
Labour Day, Friday, early seventies. Flush with cash after a summer of fruit picking, buy a blue beauty of a ten-speed. Peddle off from Penticton to spend the weekend with friends in Kelowna. Tuesday morning, leave Kelowna bound for Vancouver. Multitude of adventures along the way. Two wheels on my bike just rolling along until coming across a bridge into Kamloops, my front wheel sinks between the planks – away I go – another somersault – this time over the handlebars! A car stops – takes me to hotel and bike shop. Wheel straightened – night of good sleep. By Friday have arrived in Vancouver after walking, rolling and cruising through the Fraser Canyon and Valley. Monday off to Campbell River via Horseshoe bay. Arrive in time for dinner at my folks place.
Chariots of fire, the story of Eric Liddel, the great Scottish racer who loved to run, champion Olympian who attributed his success to God. Saw the movie, bought the Reboks, ran the course, a mile from the house, around the track three times, back to the house. Lasted for some months until one runner went missing. Striding ceased.
Winter Olympics, years later. Canada behind a couple of gold in the medal count. My daughter and I on the rugged snowy hills of Quadra in a Cool Running’s revival in tandem team tobogganing on our handcrafted Canadian Tire cardboard steed. Dual gold brings the metal count over the top.
And now a mulch based badminton/volley ball court prepared and ready for play. Game anyone?