Racing in the neutral zone

“Pro-America,” read the bumper on the car ahead of me at a traffic light one day last week. “Pro-Freedom!”

I wished I had one just like it, only with a third line at the bottom: Anti-Trump!

A T-shirt would be even better. Knowing I was going to a big race on Sunday where runners often dress in all sorts of goofy costumes, I began fantasizing about how satisfying it would be to add my own human billboard to the mix, challenging the absurd notion that rightwingers somehow “own” patriotism.

I never got around to having the T-shirt made up, primarily because I didn’t want to draw attention to my missing race bib. We’re budgeting pretty tightly since my husband got laid off, so when our youngest asked to run the River City Rat Race I paid her registration fee but decided I I’d just tag along for moral support. It was my first time running “bandit,” and I didn’t feel great about it, so even though it was hot I resisted the urge to grab a cup of water or any postrace goodies.

It was my first race of any kind this year, actually – I’m STILL dealing with plantar fasciitis – and I’d almost forgotten the simple pleasure of “running with the herd,” especially on such a gorgeous (if unseasonably warm) fall day.

In the end, I was glad I’d opted against wearing a political statement. Given how hard it is to go a single day without being reminded of this Uncivil War blasting all around us, it was almost intoxicating to be part of a moving mass of humanity and not know or care which side anyone was on.


Colleen used to hate to run, but she really, really wanted to run the River City Rat Race.  

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5 Responses to Racing in the neutral zone

  1. Flo Smith says:

    Go glad to see that Colleen is still running. One week ago I ran my fourth and most likely final marathon. I ran the Detroit Freepress Marathon, I ran over the Ambassador Bridge to Canada and then the tunnel to return to MI, there were threats of thunderstorms the entire time as well as brutal winds but still it was an amazing experience, my daughter ran with me and it was her first marathon. I am lucky to have kids that will run with me, she has always been a runner, I am still running, cycling and contemplating another tri. Sorry to hear about the job loss, I miss reading an actual newspaper, and these days the news is so discouraging but we must continue the fight for what is good and right.

    • tischcaylor says:

      This is Colleen. I hope you are still encouraging people to talk less, listen more. I know it surely would be appreciated if more people could do so. I have made lots of progress since room 8. It was great to hear about your adventures in Detroit!

  2. bgddyjim says:

    How can a left-winger, who wants the government to control everything (including who my daughters take a leak next to), have a clue about freedom? Methinks you’re missing something. Politicians like Bernie are a cancer to freedom.

    • tischcaylor says:

      For what it’s worth, I’m not a Bernie supporter, or even necessarily a left winger. The days of everyone in one political party or group believing the exact same thing are long gone. The great thing about America is that there’s room for all of us. But it sure as hell isn’t easy to come up with a consensus.

      • bgddyjim says:

        Indeed. I didn’t mean to toss you into the Bernie camp, the main point, because Bernie is so against freedom, was simply to contrast the two.

        I will say this about Trump, watching the establishment rats scurry and try to fight back has been a highlight of my life. I have a sincere disdain for politicians.

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