The Wide Receiver

I once met a man who’d been a wide-receiver.

We’d gone through a new acquisition. Marketing asked me if I wanted a job. He was the Director of Marketing, and my new boss.

Our business was coronary and peripheral catheters. I was just learning the business. He took me to hospitals. We’d watch procedures. He’d explain things and introduce me to people.

We spent a lot of time on the road, and learned things about each other. He’d been a wide-receiver in high school and college. Small, he’d been fast, quick, intelligent, and disciplined. Good route runner. But as he progressed, he encountered competition from other wide-receivers. They were faster, bigger, and stronger, and just as intelligent and disciplined.

Eventually, he left that field, but he loved football, so he became a high school football coach. Through it all, from the first spark of desire, running was what kept him going. He ran five miles every day. One night, while sharing a bottle of wine with our dinner, he confided, “I run every day, because I’m afraid to stop. I’m afraid that if I stop, I won’t ever run again.”

I think of Jon tonight because I thought, I need a break from writing. Like Jon, I’m afraid, that if I take a break, the seed that defines the essence of who I believe I am will dry up and crumble.



4 thoughts on “The Wide Receiver

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  1. I also often feel if I stop writing I may not be able to start again. Having had to put such an essential part of myself to one side to pursue other things, it’s quite an intense anxiety.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Too true, ED, all of it. At moments like this, I often think of Emma Thompson as a writer, Karen Eifel. Karen is often taut and pensive as she struggles with writing her novel, and goes off, prowling and smoking cigarettes. That’s what I really want, not a break, but a chance to prowl and think more deeply. That requires a break from routine, but not a break from writing. I didn’t recognize what I needed until after the post was published.

      Liked by 1 person

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