I have only two goals in my running career. They are:
GOAL #1: Run a marathon under 4 hours. I am sure that this will happen at the precise instant when every planet in our solar system aligns perfectly, there is a 63mph wind gust blowing against my back, and.....someone is waiting at mile 20 with a scooter I can ride for the last six miles. Unless all those factors are met, a sub-4 may be unlikely.
GOAL #2: Get a Jumping Jack picture during a race. In most bigger races, there are a few photographers on the course to take pictures of the suffering carnage on the battle field. I am bound and determined to get a picture of me mid-air doing a jumping jack, similar to this:
This is a courageous undertaking. First of all, you have to spot the photographer far enough in advance that you can muster the strength to actually jump. And then you have to time the jump perfectly at the exact moment the photographer is zooming in on you and they happen to take a picture.
I had a chance at a Jumping Jack picture at the finish line of the Mesquite Marathon. Let me tell you something: it is HARD to jump after running 26.2 miles. But I did. Please....hold your applause. (And then my legs nearly gave out on me when I landed. I nearly ate pavement.) Unfortunately the photographer missed the opportunity. Clearly he didn't understand what a huge accomplishment it was for me to jump.
There are inherent risks involved in seeking Jumping Jack pictures. Of course you risk injury when trying to jump with floppy legs. But you also risk having pictures taken of you looking like a complete idiot. When a Jumping Jack picture works - it is awesome. When the picture is taken either right before you jump or right after you jump - you look like someone is stabbing a #2 pencil into your spleen.
I have some potentially good news: I had not one, but TWO attempts at Jumping Jack pictures during the recent St. George Half Marathon. Organizers will post the pictures soon. And until then I will continue to pray that I have accomplished Goal #2.