Pemberton Avenue was the street one yard over from my backyard growing up. When it was time for me to start going to school, my mother took me over to the home of her friend whose son was also starting school. His name was John Bedell and he was my first friend. The deal was that John, who lived further down near the end of Pemberton Ave, would walk up and wait for me, then I would walk through the neighbor?s yard and John and I would walk up and down Pemberton Avenue to school and back together every day.
One day, it was in first or second grade I think, one of our classmates got in big trouble for saying a bad word.
On the way home that day, I asked John:
Me: Boy he got in big trouble, what did he say?
John: He said ?BADWORD!?
Me: What? ?BADWORD!? is not a bad word! I?ve never heard of that! (It sounded like a cute little word to me).
John: Oh yeah it is!!!! It?s the baddest word of all!
Me: Nah! That can?t be, I never heard that! It?s not a bad word!
John: Yes it is, yes it is, it?s the worst word ever!
Me: Nah, it?s not ???
So I started screaming:
Me: ?BAAAADDDDWOOOOOORD!? (Really loud)
John: NOOO,NOOO, SSSSHHHHH, SSSSHHHH! (Waving his arms at me).
Me : See, it?s not a bad word??.. ?BAAAADDDDWOOOOOORD!? (I screamed some more).
John: No, no don?t say that, it?s a baaad word!
This went on until we got to the yard of my neighbor and I made my turn to go home and John continued on his way.
When I got home, I told my mother that John said ?BADWORD!? was a bad word but that I told him it wasn?t.
My mother went into this acute state and told me ?that is the worst word in the world, never say that word again!? Then I think she washed out my mouth with soap to make sure I was all cleaned up.
In my book of firsts, Pemberton Ave was the place that I first said ?BADWORD!? (Ma?..Ma?put down the soap, it?s done already!)
Now in my continued book of firsts, I will run down Pemberton Avenue as part of the first two miles of my first Half Marathon!
I will be sure not to be screaming ?BADWORD!?
So here is my strategy:
Start: Monmouth Park Racetrack, one of my favorite places in the world.
Miles 0-2: Pemberton Avenue, memories of my youth, set slow pace, back of the pack.
Miles 3-6: Still conserving energy, other side of town, memories from middle school age.
Miles 7-8: Saving energy, still back of pack, through Monmouth Beach and North Long Branch, high school memories.
Miles 9-10: Deeper in the city of Long Branch, still conserving energy.
Miles 11-12: West End, more high school memories. This is where I am going to make my move on the second to the last runner in the race. You probably know the one??she is wearing purple running tights and a smiley face tee shirt and has been walking and running the whole race and still smoking my butt. She is going down now!
Mile 13: Along the ocean now, Garfield Park, memories of Springsteen. Having beat ?Purple Tights? no energy left, legs like Jello, I cross the finish line.
My first half marathon is over?..
So that?s it, nothing to it! Let?s hope it does go down like that and I actually do cross the finish line!
Thanks for your support, and have a great weekend! I will let you know how I do on Sunday with some video.
Chief Operating Officer
Sport and Spine Rehab