Sporting, Sporty, Sports.
When I was a little boy, I used to sprint barefoot on the black mud that was all around me, that spewed out coal chunks and fed the entire region. I was a more of a strategist than a (native) runner. It took a long time to scrub the coal off my skin. Much later, I used to run around on the red mud that was baked by the afternoon Sun and cooled off by the hardworking "ball boys" as I chased the yellow tennis balls that threatened to disappear not only in the blur, but also in the setting Sun that turned everything golden. By then, there was a sneaker between my feet and the fertile land, and I could rely on the technology of a tightly-strung racket to be sporty. These days, I have several floors of concrete and metal as I run on the treadmill, above the city streets. I set the technology to provide me the slopes and pamper me with music and visuals, but still have to rely on strategy to space my breathing and beat the next-door tread-miller. Because I run at the NYSC on Sheridan Square and the well-bodied come there to train and subtly compete with the others. Subtle competition is everywhere, in sports, office work and in research.