What Would Frazz Do?


On my living room bookshelf, I’ve collected books written by some of the greatest running coaches in the world.

Lydiard. Daniels. Pfitzinger. Higdon. Galloway. Beck. Rodgers. Henderson. Burfoot.

They know the sport. But none of them can boil it all down like my man, Frazz.

Frazz is my favorite comic-strip character, a school janitor who spends most of his free time training for marathons and triathlons.

Whenever I need a dose of motivation, I pick up a collection of Frazz strips and watch my hero run 20 miles in the rain, or bicycle up brutal hills, or dream of swimming across the English Channel.

For Frazz, staying active is a lifestyle.


Like me, he hates treadmills and Stairmasters and runnings gadgets. He just runs. And bikes. And swims. And hikes. And anything else he can think of to keep his heart rate up for a few hours.

Whenever I wonder how to approach a certain workout, I ask myself: Would What Frazz Do?

Like this morning, for example.

I was outside early, with my 10-year-old son, waiting for the school bus. While we waited, we kicked a soccer ball back and forth.

At one point, my son’s sneaker (which has logged a lot of tough miles) got caught on a chunk of ice, and the sole ripped halfway off.

In a flash, I ran up the driveway to get him another pair of sneakers from the house. But before I could return, the bus had arrived.

“Drop them off at school,” he shouted to me as he hopped on the bus. “I have gym at 9:15.”

I was planning to run four miles in the neighborhood before work.

My son needed his sneakers. His school was a mile away.

What Would Frazz Do?

You guessed it.

I changed into my running clothes, put my son’s sneakers in a bag, and trotted off to his school.

When I got to the school, I bumped into the principal, who wanted to hear all about my run. He said he had gotten up early that morning to run three miles in the dark. “It was cold, but it woke me up,” he said.

I got a Frazz feeling.

I stopped by my son’s classroom and gave him the shoes. “Your son had a blowout,” the teacher told me. “I’m glad you could get him some new shoes before gym class.”

Another Frazz feeling.

On the way back outside, I saw another teacher, who is a cross-country coach at the nearby middle school. My older son is one of his runners.

Frazz again.

I didn’t see the school janitor, so I don’t know if looked like the comic book Frazz. But I think it’s safe to say this school is runner-friendly. In a few weeks, the local high school will host its annual fundraiser, the Great North Race, a 5K that attracts hundreds of runners and raises thousands of dollars. Better than a bake sale. Better for you, too.

But I didn’t have time to think about bake sales or fundraisers. My run had just begun. I had to get in another three or four miles before work.

I ran back home and did a few wide loops around the neighborhood, getting my workout and checking off an emergency errand at the same time.

Frazz might be proud.

Of course, if I were truly Frazz, I would have run another nine or ten miles.  And then I would have grabbed my bicycle and pedaled 12 miles to work, through the ice and snow.

I guess I will channel Frazz a little more tomorrow.

Go Frazz! You’re my kind of guy.

3 Responses to “What Would Frazz Do?”

  1. I’ve never heard of Frazz, but he makes a good role model. He looks like he could be an older Calvin (Calvin and Hobbes)

  2. Tom is right. He looks just like Calvin, except older and thinner. (Must have been all the running). Your lucky your kids’ school is runner friendly. Ours is football/cheerleader friendly.

  3. Well this was great inspiration as I’m getting ready for a 24 miler in the rain. Guess I’ll have more laundry :)!!

    Have a great weekend.

Leave a Reply to tom Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: