In hindsight, the last text may have been too much. Accusing my brother, who’s a special forces marine with war zone experience, of being afraid to race me in a turkey trot may have been too strong. It’s just, it was the third message and I’d gotten no response. In my defense, he’s the one who has stoked my competitive nature all these years. He’s the one who never let me win at anything just because I was the girl.
He’s also the one person I am fairly certain can beat me at every athletic feat. The dude’s a personal trainer who doesn’t even own a car because he runs or bikes to work – postal service style – rain, sleet, snow, or hail. One time he was hit by a car while riding his bike to work. He flipped over the hood of the car, picked up his busted bike and ran the rest of the way to work carrying it.
Yet, somehow a tiny part of me believes there’s a chance I could beat him in a race. Forget the fact that I had to google 8k to find out that it’s just under five miles.
Or maybe I just love to trash talk. That’s actually a lot more likely.
Anyway, for some ungodly reason, I’ve now accused him of being scared to race me. I may have told him he’d be better off to stay at home and watch the Macy’s parade. Why? Because it’ll work. There are five kids in our family and no two are more alike than us. Nothing motivates the two of us like someone saying we can’t do something well. We’re competition junkies with a serious dependence on adrenaline and an inability to just sit still.
I’ve learned just about everything I know about sports from him. He taught me how to throw a spiral. He makes fun of my terrible left-handed dribble,. He still never lets me win and he definitely doesn’t believe in handicapping. He never has and I think that’s why I actually believe I have a chance.
We’ve only raced each other once before. He had home court advantage and he was wearing shorts that were shorter than mine. I don’t think those made him faster, but if you think I didn’t make jokes about them all day then you really don’t know me. The course was awful for me. It was in the foothills of North Carolina where he lives and trains. I, at the time, was a college sprinter living in good ol’ FLAT Charleston. I wanted to die. I wanted to quit. I wanted to punch him in the face for convincing me to sign up. I ran anyway and managed a PR. He won. I beat myself, which is really all you can ask as a runner, but he won.
I don’t remember my time anymore – I’ve PR’d again since. I couldn’t tell you anything about the course except there was one uphill neighborhood street where I considered just stopping to chill in some stranger’s backyard. I don’t even know which medical charity the run was backing – I’ve lost the t-shirt. All I know is the first person to hug me at the finish line was that bastard in the shorty-shorts who’s probably going to beat me this year on thanksgiving day on my home turf.