We in the Meredith* household are not runners. My wife is big on sports like volleyball that require motion in bursts as opposed to stretches. The most athletic thing I do these days is stand up for 8 hours at a time selling the world’s finest coffees and/or communication devices (but not at the same time). We as a family don’t have anything against marathons, 5Ks, or stickers on the back of your car that brag about how far you can run, it’s just not something we do.
Though I am considering a sticker for the back of my car touting how many words per week I write on my blog. But the whole “what’s that 2042.4 sticker mean?” question would likely get old.
We’re not runners. If we are running, it means that our 2.5-year-old is about to lick a wall socket or amble out into traffic. (though I did recently chase down a car trying to leave the Starbucks parking lot to hand off a sandwich they had driven away from the store and forgotten.) We run for customer service, not for fun.
So when my wife was on the phone with Sherri, she didn’t know how to respond.
Jacqueline (my wife) was trying to arrange a support appointment, and when Sherri found out that we had a dog she suggested that they meet to go trail running, using that time to talk through our ministry and how Sherri could be involved prayerfully and financially.
Let’s run down the list of funny reasons that’d be a terrible idea, shall we?
1.) My wife doesn’t run. (i’m trying to start as many paragraphs as I can with some variation on that theme) So to ask her to talk and run at the same time would be comical at best, and hazardous to her health at worst. Optimistically, she’d sound like an asthmatic having a panic attack. Not enough oxygen to go around. Probably not the best time to engage somebody with the desperate need for funding to reach students with the gospel. Also, unrelated, I spelled asthmatic right on the first try. Take that, 11th grade honors English.
2.) Our dog has never been trail running. Our dog at the time was a German Short Haired Pointer, which is German for “50 pounds of absurdly high energy and lack of leash training.” I can just see trying to take her out running on the trail, with no practice run. Jacqueline would have made it about 50 yards before the leash was wrapped intricately around several saplings and under a fallen log. “While we wait on someone to help us get this tree out of the way, let me tell you a little about direct deposit.” I’m thinking maybe there are better ways to raise support.
3.) You (and your dog) are runners. Let me get this out in the open: unless you were planning on doing more of a speed walk punctuated with 45-50 feet of jogging every few miles, we’re probably going to need to meet at a coffee shop. I appreciate and value that you are so in shape, but regret to inform you that we are not-so-much. We are the people at the marathon with signs and encouraging slogans, or even fig newtons. Not the people with numbers safety-pinned to their clothing.
4.) Our dog has a history of violence. We adopted that dog from a shelter, and she decidedly did not play well with other dogs for quite a bit of her life. So to meet out in the woods with another dog could mean that instead of talking about our ministry, we talk about how to pull apart our two dogs that are trying to kill each other. And did I mention that she’s really heavy, and strong?
Yeah, I’m sure that Sherri meant well. Jacqueline politely declined the trail run. Tune in next week for where we actually ended up meeting Sherri. It’s almost as good as “out for a run.”
*that’s my last name, to avoid any potential confusion. I also mutter that name under my breath when I’m angry at myself for something, and if you don’t know it, you’d think I am either sexist or very angry at some girl named Meredith.