An hour and 48 minutes is a long time to run and a lot of time to think about all the things you hate. On my journey to Belmar and Back today, here's what came to mind.
I hate being out of shape. This is the No. 1 thought I have every time I begin to train for a marathon. Why didn't I just maintain? If I'd just continued on the right path of diet and running, I'd not feel so god-awful right now.
I hate being so uncool. But I hate even more when uncool people (like me) try to be cool. I think it goes along with my age (45). I mean, as much as I can buy the right jeans, the right shoes, the right shirt, it is sometimes impossible to pull it all off. I've got buddies who still dress like we did in college, crotch-hugging jeans and all, and...well...that doesn't work, either.
I hate that I look older than my age. My wife (who looks 25) asked a little girl the other day to "guess how old Mr. Bradley is." The kid replied, "50?" I'm not going to argue with the kid. I look every bit of 50. But, I'd rather have gray hair and look older than my age, than look like Bob Costas, Dan Patrick or any of those other dye-jobbers who look like complete fools. Oh yeah, add to my hate list...I hate people who say, "I've just got good genes!" Keep it to yourself.
I hate that I can't decide if I'm old school, or new school. I think I'm old school with my kids. Make them do their chores, keep a tight leash on 'em, etc. But I think, in general terms, I'm more new school. I prefer new music to classic rock. I am bored watching athletes who are described as "fundamentally sound." Yet, at the same time, I want Carolina to pull back a little from this Loyola-Marymount brand of ball they're playing the last few years. I'm confused.
I hate that I cannot play the guitar for beans. I've been banging around on a guitar for about five years now and I still cannot play anything but the most basic chords, and I can't play those all that convincingly, either. Along the same lines, I hate that I can't speak Spanish, especially when I feel I've put in a fairly good effort to learn the language.
I hate that I can't solve my dad's computer problems over the phone. Yeah, got back from my run and the phone rings and my dad wants to know what's wrong with his printer.
I hate that I'm hungry 24 hours a day. I am five-foot-six but can eat as much as an NFL lineman. How is this fair? I'm a little man. I should, therefore, have a size-appropriate appetite.
I hate when my whole family wants it to snow. You love the snow so much, let's see you all grabbing shovels tomorrow if the forecast is correct. I love New Jersey, love the change of seasons, but a winter with zero accumulation does not bother me in the least.
I hate what's going on in the newspaper business right now. Before our very eyes, an American institution is crumbling. An American institution that I have been a part of for, get this, more than 30 years. Yeah, I count my days of calling in high school games, my days writing stories for the Caldwell Progress (my mom did the typing) and even my days of swapping stories for lift tickets when I was working for the Olympic Committee in Lake Placid, N.Y. As great as the internet has been for so many things, it could very well make newspapers obsolete.
I hate Oprah. No explanation necessary. Of course, you could read further down the blog.