I have a confession to make.
This one's not easy.
I hate running. I hate it! I hate it, I hate it, I really and truly hate it. It's not my forte; it has never been my joy.
You may ask yourself: what's the big deal? Who cares? Well, it's a big deal if you're a fitness instructor. I hide this fact from the other running-lovers in my peer group...if another instructor suggests we run together one day for their idea of fun, I tend to beg off, stating that I just finished teaching three classes, back-to-back-to-back.
The kick is that I can and have taught three classes in a row...it happens sometimes. It's part of the business. I can do that, quite well I might add, and then simply end up hungry.
But after about 20 minutes of jogging/running/torture: I'm ready to quit.
So as the NYPD Process began unfurling, I promised Rocco I would help him to run. Teach him better technique. I'd run with him, I'd train alongside, I'd pull out all stops. I called out the big guns: I asked a friend who had recently run the NYC Marathon to go running with him, and report back to me just how he was losing time. We could do this. I knew it, even if he didn't. I encouraged him. I cheered him on. I insisted we go running together every Saturday morning.
"C'mon," I would wheeze out of the corner of my mouth. "You can do this. Stay with me. C'mon. Who's the Finest?! Go ROC! Go, go, go, GO! R-O-C-C-O! " I tried everything. I ran backwards. I would run sore, after a full week of teaching fitness. I would walk alongside him, chanting silly things, when I just couldn't run anymore.
ROCCO was doing a ROCKY...I could hear the Rocky Theme pulsing through my ears as we ran.
The problem was that he couldn't hear it too.
"I can't..." He would stop, his hands on his knees, sweat pouring from his face, breathing so heavy I thought I was going to have to do CPR on my day off. "I think I'm too old."
"Age ain't nothin' but a number!" Puff, huff, putting on my game face. "You can do this!"
The good news was this: the NYPD required different things than the town he just took the test for...their run was two miles versus five. Actually, that was great news.
Then we found out about the wall.