hate him, I hate him, I hate him! Never had I ever thought I’d ever hate
Chip Morton. Right now he was lucky that we weren’t in Seaview’s missile room or surely I’d have stuffed
him in a torpedo tube and consigned him to the briny blue.
Lee,” he came toward me in the boat's small gym. “You’ve only done 25 crunches. Your quota’s
75 per day this week.”
quit! I’m sore, I’m tired, I ‘m hungry and you won’t let me have any coffee!” I groaned as I
sat up, and just as quickly lay back down on the bench.
me!” I yelled and tried to get up again.
you really want to disappoint the crew? ”he helped me sit up and handed me a towel to wipe my sweaty face, “ They’re all behind you. And what about the Admiral?
He entered the marathon himself because of you and he’s not whining.”
has a professional trainer after you wouldn’t take him, good food, and he can have all the coffee he wants, and I have a slave driver.”
different if he doesn’t plan on actually winning the damn thing.”
never said I was in it to win!”
“You never said you were in it to come in last either. Lee, what’s wrong? It’s not like you to back out, especially from something you yourself wanted.”
so sore and tired, Chip…”I whined. Hell, I didn’t care anymore
if I sounded like a petulant child.
pain, no gain.”
I dragged his name out.
he responded in like. “You drafted me. Hell, you blackmailed me to be your trainer. By the way, I haven’t gotten
the latest payment in brownies from your mother. That aside, I refuse to back
out from my responsibility. The responsibility you gave me and I accepted. You practically begged me to keep you from backing down at times like this. Or do you need me to remind you of the direct quote you gave me.”
he was going to start putting my words back in my mouth. Why, oh why had I ever thought I could run the Santa Barbara Marathon.
I’d drop dead within the first mile. I knew that the first day Chip made me run around the perimeter of the Country
Club golf course and I’d fallen into the first of several ruts. “That’s no excuse,” he’d yelled
from the golf cart, “get up and get going! Move, move, move!”
had and was rewarded with ‘That’s the worst time I’ve ever
seen!’ (that he’d never seen anyone run a golf course before was beside the point.) You’d have thought he
could at least have said ‘good job trying’.
so I’d run up and down the stairs at NIMR for him, put up with soybeans and tofu instead of real food. Hell, I’d
even put up with Gatorade! (for the electrolytes). And all the while, he chided me with demands of ‘more, more’
more’ of the various methods of torture that were supposed to help build and strengthen the muscles needed to run the
distance. He wouldn’t even let me swim in the NIMR pool or aquarium as that, he said, would defeat the purpose as other
muscles would be used, citing why ballet dancers don’t swim very much as it affects their performance. Where he got
that from is anyone’s guess. Probably Angie. She has a pretty little niece who’s picture has a place of honor
on her desk. All pink and frilly in a tutu. Well, I’m not a ballerina and I told him so!
little outburst gave ‘Coach Mega mouth’ the gumption to demand two
extra miles from our planned run downtown as he rode alongside on a bike. With
a megaphone! “Move it Lee! Move it! Don’t you dare even think about it!” he yelled as I slowed and began
to run backwards alongside the Doughnut shop. I did the only thing I could think of and stuck my tongue out at him before
I entered the establishment, come what may.
doughnuts…a dozen of them…assorted…”I panted.
that!” my nemesis appeared, his bike leaning in the doorway. “He’s in training. No arguments. NIMR will
compensate your shop for non-compliance if Commander Crane ever sets foot in
here again…until after the marathon,” and gave the counter boy his business card. “Tell the manager. I’ll
have a coffee though, and one of those jelly doughnuts. Lee, you can take a pee break if you like,” he condescended.
wondered if the men’s room had a window big enough for me to escape through, steal his bike and leave him stranded.
Let him walk or run back to our starting point at NIMR. No luck.
up,” he entered, the thought of a potential escape on his mind as well, “oh. Sorry.”
I emerged, the manager, hastily summoned by the counter boy, shook my hand vigorously and said how proud he was of NIMR and
that not only was our famous institution sponsoring the run, but also had someone entering.
hastened to add that Admiral Nelson himself was a registered runner before Chip took my arm and
headed us out before I got too relaxed. Back to the grind, he had a little difficulty managing to yell and finish his doughnut at the same time, riding alongside on his bike, his coffee already having been consumed.
it my fault that a little later the cops gave him a ticket for distracted driving (hey, a bike is a vehicle) and disrupting
traffic? Still they were pretty good about it. In fact, Officer Coats offered
a police escort along the actual route, which wasn’t downtown Santa Barbara, if
we could do it in the wee hours when there wasn’t much traffic.
Chip had accepted the offer and demanded I pay the fine, after all he was my coach. It was my responsibility to handle any
bills that came our way, including his damn coffee and doughnut!
it any wonder I wanted to quit already? It would be so easy just to go shower,
return to the Control Room and forget all about ever setting foot in the marathon
or any marathon ever again. After all I’d entered the contest myself. No one had forced me. I could still ace my fit rep coming up. That wasn’t why I’d registered. I have no idea why
I registered but Chip was right about disappointing the crew if I quit. They’d even made signs and banners they were
pleased to show off that they’d be waving on the day. One was on the wall.
Daring me to quit. And Harry, well, he’d be so disappointed if I backed
out. He’d never back out, even if he was probably looking at coming in last.
coach,” I said as I wearily retraced my steps to the bench, remembering just
why I ‘hired’ Chip in the first place, “ 75 you said? 50 more