While visiting Mapleton High School yesterday, it occured to me that it had been more than 30 years since I’d pulled a hamstring. Fortunately for me, the Mapleton track team was only a discus throw away — which I suddenly realized when someone yelled “HEADS UP!”
As it turned out, the Sailors were finishing an inner-team “mini meet.” Despite what it sounds like, it’s not actually speed dating for high school midgets. According to coach Johnny Sundstrom, it’s a four-event “meet” among the squad that helps set individual baseline measurement for athletes in the sprints, distance running, throws and jumps.
The team was on its last event, the long jump, when my natural competitive instincts — normally reserved for “donut day” in the newsroom — were triggered. After talking it over with the coach, and signing a medical release form, then briefly discussing (depending on how things went) the idea of the Ned Hickson Memorial Long Jump, I took my place at the end of the runway. Mapleton senior Katie Dearman volunteered to record this historical event. Or as she put it, “Acquire documentation that could keep the school out of court.”
I believe Katie is headed for law school after graduation.
As you watch the first part of this video, I’d like to clarify that Katie does not have an obsession with my midriff. Although who could blame her. In this case, however, for some reason the iMovie application cropped out part of my head. Probably a safety feature…
Keep in mind that this was technically a Personal Best. At least at Mapleton High School, where I’d never jumped before.
And probably won’t ever be allowed to again.
My thanks to coach Johnny Sunndstrom, Katie and the rest of the Mapleton High School track team for letting me live out a dream that, more than likely, will haunt their nightmares.
(Ned Hickson is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation. His first book, Humor at the Speed of Life, is available from Port Hole Publications, Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.)
46 thoughts on “Apparently, I’m a long way from the high school long jump”
I don’t normally watch the videos on blogs, but couldn’t resist this one. The thought occurred to me as you were running towards the sand that it was a pretty long run and would you even make it to the sand? So I laughed out loud when you stopped to catch your breath. But I’m sure that was just for comedic effect, wasn’t it, Ned?
I started sweating just from watching your incredible athleticism. Well done. I’m so proud of you!
Even more importantly, what the heck did you mean by “donut day” … isn’t every day donut day?
Lol! If every day was donut day around here I never would’ve made it to the track in the first place.
I eat any donut within my reach the moment my eyeballs report their appearance . That way I know exactly where they are.
For that very reason, I tried closing my eyes while walking throiugh the newsroom on donut day and almost broke my nose. I like your plan better.
There you go. Don’t say you never learned anything from me.
Wow, for a moment there I thought I was watching The Six Million Dollar Man! The slow motion was fantastic!!!
Sadly, it wasn’t a visual effect — I just started getting tired.
Good form! Remember the ice pack on your knees should be 20 min on, then 20 min off for at least two hours.
Hours. Days. Weeks. Whatever…
That’s a nice midriff, Ned. I heard Chariot’s of Fire while you were running, which tells you how long it’s been since I’ve jumped anything longer than a buffet line. Well done!
HA! Maybe if I could’ve ridden an actual chariot to the jumping line I would’ve done better…
Hope you’re okay. We’re not as young as we used to be … 🙂
I think I’ll leave track to the youngsters and stick to firefighting. At least I have an oxygen tank to breathe with.
Ned maybe next time.. That is if there is a next time, take your oxygen tank with you. I’m guessing because of your age, you just forgot. But then again, it might be to heavy for you to carry. Maybe there shouldn’t be a next time. I hope your hospital stay is short lived.
I definitey think making the jump in my firefighter gear, while offering more oxygen, would’ve given me an even worse mark.
Probably. I’ll race you..
You’re on! 😉
You know I’ll kick your @$$!
Only if you’re running behind me, Missy!
Hmm..shoot good point.
Ahhh, the pressure of athleticism. I could see your muscles flexing like a tightly wound machine, Ned. The sweat on your brow (I could see that when you bent over gasping and gathering strength and power for your formidable feat) and the look of focus and intensity in your eyes. There was no doubt in my mind that you were going to show those young’uns just how indomitable our generation was and is. You could have dialed it back a bit Ned, you know you may have upstaged them so badly that they could lose hope that they could ever compete with our generation. You don’t want to be crushing any of their dreams with your performance.
I took a screen shot of you flying through the air with your solar plexus muscles flexing and am going to use it as a motivational poster for those who think our generation can’t compete. Ahhh, the thrill of victory!
Sadly, I think “tightly wound” might be the only true part of this entire comment, Paul.
You’re an inspiration, Ned! Too funny.
Thanks, Dadicus. I think I inspired those kids to stretch more before jumps, too.
Are those Nike jeans?
You must be assuming that because… of my athletic performance?
Maybe it’s because you just did it.
I think my “just doing it” is still up for debate.
I think it was a pretty good jump, Ned. You did hit the sand target, didn’t you?
Exactly! The object is to stay inside the box, right?
Yeah, if you run all the way there and jump inside, I think it means you’ve won.
I got some coaching from my cat. After landing in a cat box, the long jump was easy…
next stop. x-games.
Maybe I can get an Aspercreme sponsorship?
I’m just impressed by that run that you made. I wouldn’t have even made it that far.
And I used to run the hurdles.
I used to run into them, so yeah — running track is like riding a bike. Only a lot slower.
It was seven takes, then I splced it together seamlessly… 😉
You da man, Ned…
Sorry, I’m not myself these days.
I’ll get there – eventually.
As long as no one tries to be you. You’re already taken and very good at it.
That was just awesome! You’re like an Olympian. Next thing we’ll be seeing you on a Wheaties box then reading about your marriage into a family full of nastiness and imminent sex change!
Do they still make Wheaties?
Hahaha! No change for me; I’ll keep having sex.