89 Laps Around The Sun… Our American Bad-Ass George Thatcher Has A Few Things To Say About Life, Lessons And What’s Coming Up. He’s Still Running… Give It A Read And A Share!

Run for My Life


This past weekend, not knowing what to expect if I crossed to the other side, I took a chance and burst through the gossamer curtain of another year of life. After re-orienting myself to the final slog toward what will likely be the ultimate decade, I took off running down a rubberized path. It used to be an asphalt track, but I’ve been granted a small concession to senior status. The intention was to run a hundred yards for every year of my life. A modest goal, you might say, but life had placed the remnants of many obstacles along the way, many of them self-initiated. So it was a zig-zag, dodging run, and I was strangely familiar with every one of those obstacles. I used to call them “bad luck,” “never got a break,” “boss had it in for me,” “It was all her fault, “the recession bit me,” and “why aren’t partners more trustworthy?” I’ve left them all intact so that some of you may be alerted to their presence on your own life’s runs.


This time I decided to throttle back my pace and try to savor the memories along the way, instead of my former habit of self-pity, which had led to not much more than a crop of bunions I thought briefly about applying some sunblock, but naaah, I could manage this little sprint in minutes. Just like the old days, when I would run a whole mile for each year completed. So I continued my yearend run, jogging slowly, with measured steps, so as to conserve the body.


It’s now been two days since I started, and I’m still out there, painfully dragging the unwilling body through the first half of my odyssey. Representing that period of my life, it was an ongoing metaphor for the toughest, but most memorable years. It was full of risk, adventure, stark terror, stratospheric highs and abysmal lows, stories I have told and poems written to memorialize both the good and the bad. But I always omitted the very worst: the abject miseryof a failed marriage and the deep despair of a money-sucking business gone sour. It seems that, in these annual “recap runs” I am reminded of everything, but I must continue on my way or I won’t be permitted to seek absolution for the failures. And forget about the “glory days.” The deep grooving of my rigid upbringing won’t let total forgiveness become even a consideration. The run, I’ve learned, doesn’t have a water stop along the way, and my poor life’s planning continually reminds me that I’ve forgotten to bring my own hydration fluids.


Have you ever had this dream, in which you’re running for your life, and you’re running and running but “it” is catching up to you. Then you suddenly wake up with your legs churning, wrapped up in the sheets, sweating like a ‘ho in church, and your pulse pounding like a triphammer? Well, that’s my annual run for life. I’m halfway surprised that I haven’t had a heart attack in my sleep, as I suspect so many others like myself have experienced. But as I slowly recover my senses and realize that I’ve been spared again, I’m left with the second half of life to ponder, wherein I’ve tried to atone for the mistakes of youth and redeem myself through various late-life achievements and a wonderful marriage.


And it’s all okay again. Life has made me into a living chronicle of the 20th and early 21st centuries, and sometimes these days I’m even called on to share my “wisdom.” If they only knew! But they don’t, and so the journey continues. If I’m given this whole next year to spend on earth, I’ll try to use it to a good purpose, whatever that may entail. And I hope it includes continued hours of learning, and lots of good fellowship with you, my friends.


George Thatcher, 2022 Man on the Run

George is an American Bad Ass. He grew up in Jersey, flew B-52s in Vietnam, taught English, Spanish and other languages to children around the world, makes his own salsa, has been known to enjoy a beer or two and has called Lubbock home for a few years, just to entertain the locals. Welcome to Raiderland, Major. We are going to feature some of his writings going forward. Some new, some old. Some rhyme, some don’t. When it comes to George, there’s no box. So… enjoy our friend and enjoy his writings! – Hyatt

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