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My brother called me yesterday. He told me that my niece is on her school's track team. I was pleased to hear that she had come in 3rd place in the 440-meter dash. (This is a race around a regulation size track).

I felt very proud of her, but I wondered if I could run a lap around a regulation size track. Obviously she can.

I've got to get in shape. Being less athletically able than a 7-year-old girl is simply unacceptable. If she's a better athlete than I when she's a teenager I think I can live with that. But not now. Not when I have the advantage of full physical maturity.

That seems like a modest goal. I was talking to someone today who used to be an avid runner but now has knee problems. He said he just wants to be able to keep up with 65-year-old ladies. So I am not the only one with modest goals.

I suppose there is something to be said for modest goals. They can certainly enhance self-esteem (since they are so easily met). But you can make them too modest. So I resolve to make my goals more ambitious than those of a homeless crack addict.