By Barbara Falconer Newhall
I was all of three or four years old, pumping away on the pedals of my tricycle, near tears because the big kids were leaving me behind.
“Wait for me!” I cried.
My six-year-old brother Davey and his friends had decided to ride their bikes – actual two-wheelers – all the way around the block. Davey had persuaded his friends to let me tag along, but I couldn’t keep up, and nobody would slow down for me, so little and so slow on my tricycle, not even my big brother.
When we reached the other side of the block – far from home – the big kids sped up. In tears, I watched them grow smaller and smaller down the sidewalk, then disappear around the corner.
Today, this morning – same thing. I watched in dismay as my daughter and a handful of other fit twenty- and thirty-somethings took off running, leaving me behind.
I decided to record my humiliation with a photo of their trim figures receding in the distance, but by the time I got my camera out, they had all but disappeared down College Avenue.
Christina had talked me into this. She’d gotten me out of bed at the crack of dawn – 8 a.m. – to meet the Berkeley Lululemon running club at College and Ashby for a six-mile, Saturday morning run to Lake Temescal and back.
At first, I trotted along behind the much-younger runners. But after half a block, I had to face up to reality; I’d never keep up with all those fit young things. But I could do a brisk three-mile walk down College to Broadway in Oakland and back. And that’s what I did.
I don’t know how my four-year-old self found her way home. Maybe I sucked it up and managed on my own. More likely Davey eventually came back around the block to get me.
Today I sucked it up. I gave myself a terrific hour-plus walking workout. But by the time I got back to Lululemon, the rest of the running club had finished up and left for home. Except for Christina. Still sweaty from her six-mile run, my daughter was standing outside the store, waiting for me.