Runners are a special brand of neurotic and, because of this, Citius Mag is proud to introduce our latest column: Self-Help for the Helpless. This weekly column will field questions from readers, and our resident guru, Washington State District 2A Cross Country Coach-of-the-Year Gary Sinise (no relation to THE Gary Sinise), will provide guidance and insight into the plethora of both legitimate and non-legitimate issues plaguing runners from coast to coast.
Coach Gary, take it from here!
Alright now first thing first: my name is Coach Gary Sinise, but I ain’t got any datgum stars on any datgum sidewalk you understand? Any man worth his weight in salt knows he shouldn’t be putting his name on some fancypants sidewalk with gold drippings every which way. And I’ll tell you something, the only place my name should be is out of your datgum mouth, and on the nametag I get when I visit mother during bingo nights. Hell! I’m pretty sure I threw away my plaque from 2003 when I was the Washington State District 2A Cross Country Coach-of-the-Year. Awards don’t mean nothing to a guy like me. What gets my bones shaking is competin’! Hell! If it wasn’t for my old football injury, I’d bet I could run one of those 5Ks faster than you’d believe. Anyways, ‘nuff ‘bout me. Let’s check out what ailing today’s youth THIS week.
“Dear Coach Gary. My name is Adam and I’m a sophomore at Willow Lake. I have run cross country and track since I was six years old. I think I hate it. I didn’t always hate it. I don’t think, at least. But I’m not sure. Anyways, can I quit?”
- Awkward in Anacortes
Well, well, well. Look what we’ve got ourselves here now will ya? Another MILLENNIAL whining about having to sweat a little bit. Adam, when you look yourself in the mirror what do you see? I’ll bet dollars to doughnuts it’s a skinny little punk trying to twitter a meme. What else is hard in your life? Did daddy not buy you a new car for breaking 5:30 in the mile last spring? Is mommy not washing your filthy jockstraps anymore? Come on now, son. Rub some dirt on it and embrace the tough stuff. I hereby do NOT give you permission to quit this sport.
“I really like Susie but I do not think she knows my name.”
- Scared in Sammamish
Why the hell should she know your name? Look here, in my day, everyone knew my name. My brother, my sister, my grandparents. Everyone knew Gary Z. Sinise. Want to know why? Because I was ASSERTIVE. I put myself out there. I shook hands firmly and made eye contact directly. Ain’t no other way to be. Heck! Ain’t no other way I could have been! Back then, a man’s WORD was all he HAD. You pickin’ up what I’m puttin’ down? Anyhow, what was your question?
“You were great in The Green Mile.”
- Ebert in Edison
[Editor’s Note: Coach Gary penned some sort of violent manifesto about Gary Sinise (the actor) and it is not appropriate for this website. Or any website, for that matter. We have destroyed any and all evidence of its existence.]
“Dear Coach Gary. The big race is only a week away and I’ve come down with a serious case of plantar fasciitis. Because you’ve been around the sport SO long and were the 2003 Washington State District 2A Cross Country Coach-of-the-Year, I was hoping you could give me some helpful advice.”
- Vanessa from Vancouver
Which injury is plantar fasciitis? Is it the one where you just aren’t TOUGH enough? Oh wait – that’s a stress reaction, right? Or no, is that what they call a hip flexor? I can’t keep up with all of these injuries anymore. Wanna know why? Of course you do. Because they are not REAL, Vanessa. Can I call you that? Of course I can. It’s your name, for Pete’s sake! My athletes are always slinkin’ up to me and sayin’ “Coach Gary. My thingamabob feels like a tendinitis.” I tell them all what I’m about to tell you: chew several large cloves of garlic, wash it down with colloidal silver, and I’ll see you on the starting line, bub.