Tripple Overtime: If the ‘Running Man Challenge’ is cool, then Coach Ayers is Miles Davis


I didn’t know what I was getting myself into last Tuesday. Literally. In fact, even while I was getting myself into it, someone said: “Hey Tripp, what did you get yourself into?” And I said: “I don’t know.”

So but anyway, I showed up at IR girls’ lacrosse practice last Tuesday, because Coach Ayers had asked me to, and also, brought my camera and lacrosse stick with me, also because Coach Ayers had asked me to, even though she never really actually ended up explaining why she was asking me to do these things, instead just citing something about a “Running Man Challenge” or a music video or something before then going into Ohio State something, something, something else, and me tuning out, involuntarily, of course, and being distracted by, like, the idea that maybe one of the feathers on the field — fluttering and clinging to this weak blade of uncut grass in this kind of threatening manner — was perhaps somehow from a passing chicken truck, and somehow been blown all the way over to the lacrosse field from 113, which, of course, filled me with a nameless dread, on account of the self-diagnosed ornothophobia [Editor’s note: Tripp, I see what you’re doing here with the run-on sentence and all, but if you’re going to diagnose yourself with a phobia, you might at least want to learn to spell it correctly: ornithophobia] and all (i.e. the irrational fear of birds — there are dozens of us, dozens!); and so, but, anyway, I got there (to the practice), to see all these Hawaiian shirts and straw hats and water wings and pretty much anything else you could possibly find at say, like, a Jimmy Buffet concert, minus, maybe, the rum, and/or maybe Point photographer Chris Clark, and thought to myself: “What the heck did I just get myself into?” [Editor’s note: Tripp’s editor is wondering the same thing right now, having just edited a 250-plus-word sentence.]

There were, of course, plenty of things that I could have, and probably should have, been doing last Tuesday afternoon. Here is one: I could have gotten a jump on/actually completed and turned in a pretty groundbreaking, or at least somewhat relevant to someone, “Tripple Overtime” column for the week. Another example (of the plenty of things) would have been maybe getting like, a real haircut, for once. Or maybe stopping by ACTS and buying a second pair of pants or something. Solving world hunger, the mortgage crisis, or finding out if the mortgage crisis is actually still a thing, are all other examples. The list goes on.

So, but, anyway, I went out there and they (the girls’ lacrosse team) were doing this “Running Man Challenge” thing.

Now, I think I’m pretty hip. I’m cool. I text. I don’t have an AOL email address or anything like that [Editor’s note: AOL email addresses are actually retro-cool these days. Tripp just missed the memo.], and I know all the slang and what most of all those little anatomically adulterated smiley faces mean — LOL: “laughing on line,” WTF: “why the face?” — all that stuff.

But, apparently, I’m the last to know about this “Running Man” dance, which essentially, from what I can gather, is when you’re doing something or another, like let’s, say, for instance, lacrosse practice, and then suddenly you break out into this sort of deranged running-in-place dance/resemblance of a successfully thwarted seizure, for an extended period of time, to a tune called “My Boo” by the “musical group” going by the handle “Ghost Town DJ’s," none of which I had ever heard of despite all my inherently undeniable hip coolness.

So, but, anyway, they start off doing this dance, with Hawaiian shirts and water wings and swimming goggles and the song — which, from what I could gather, goes something like, “Oh yeah, peek-a-boo, oh yeah boo I be a little cray-zay,” or something like that, on repeat, for pretty much unending, or at least seeming that way — and they even have this inflatable giraffe-type thing, going by the handle “Esther,” and they're all jumping out of that big spare tractor tire that’s always mysteriously in different places around campus, and jumping hurdles on the track and stuff doing this dance, and somehow they (the girls' lax team) even get a big indubitable thumbs up from Coach Deitz and Coach Spencer to let them play this song through their practice, too — but only for one verse, though — and, meanwhile, I’m there, still filming all of this, and shaking the camera pretty bad, only because I didn’t bring the tripod and not because I needed, like, a drink or anything like that - although I probably wouldn’t have said no to one either, if I’m being honest [Editor’s note: Tripp’s editor isn’t sure he didn’t write this after a drink or five and is feeling like a drink might be a good idea for the editor right now…] - and I still don't know what this is all for, except for “because Ohio State,” basically, and this goes on for maybe 30 minutes or so, before practice, and is actually turning out to be really kind of funny the more it goes on, and the song not-so-bad — kind of like one of those Justice Beaver songs you hear on the radio for the 900th time before it grows on you and you’re finally like, “I guess this is OK, I guess” — and the words are even starting to make a little more coherent sense the more times you hear them, and just when I’m getting like, super into it, and thinking to myself “maybe I should be a director, because I am obviously very talented at this,” Coach Ayers puts Esther away and the song cuts out, and everyone stops running in place and, like “The Sopranos,” it just kind of ends. [Editor’s note: Thankfully, there was someone present who knew when something needed to stop. That person is not Tripp.]

So, but, anyway, it just kind of ends, and I’m thinking about maybe hitting ACTS for that second pair of pants when I start actually checking into this whole Running Man Challenge thing on Alta Vista, and it turns out that it’s actually pretty legit, which was a total anatomically adulterated smiley face for me — specifically the one with the bugged-out eyes that’s like “whoa” or whatever - and apparently, it’s not just an Ohio State thing, but all these teams are like, cutting some serious rug now, and even police officers and celebrities and probably Chris Clark at Jimmy Buffet concerts or Tapioca Night at the Brandywine Assisted Living Facility (BALF) or Zipper Pants Wearers Anonymous (ZPWA) conventions, or whatever else he does when he’s not available to shoot photos or Running Man Challenge videos, which is, of course, pretty much always, and it's even on the show "Ellen" featuring Ellen Degeneres (The Ellen Show, The Bernie Mac Show, Ellen: The Ellen Degeneres Show).

And so, the video will be my directorial debut, so keep an eye out for when Coach Ayers actually lets me share it (on the line), which she says I can’t, because of something about Ohio State or something, I think. But it is pretty good, if I do say so myself, in a running man challenge sort of way, and before you watch it, at least you have all of this to let you know what you’re getting yourself into, before you get yourself into it. [Editor’s note: Tripp’s editor wishes she’d known what she was getting into when she started reading this column. She might have had that drink.]