Where is the finishing line?

by Howard Fuhs

03. Dezember 2022

In March 1986, training for the Wiesbaden Phantoms' second league season began with a cross-country run. Our trainer Alvin Hayes had chosen a running route on the Neroberg, which the team had to run on time. This was to determine the level of performance of the individual players after the training break in winter. Who had trained hard over the winter and who had nibbled too many sweets over Christmas.

My problem was a serious injury to my right knee that happened in training in July 1985. Having just escaped an imminent knee operation, I was unable to take part in any training for over six months. The doctor prohibited me from putting any strain on my knee. I was only released for training again shortly before the forest run. What I meant in the forest run was like an anvil, high resting mass, hardly any kinetic energy. However, if I wanted to play this season, I had to successfully participate in the run.

What I've always loved about the Phantoms has been the camaraderie and mutual motivation. Not knowing if my knee would even survive the run, Michael Adam and David Alexander were willing to match my slow pace. David Alexander would probably have finished the run faster than me on one leg. After a while, when David and Michael saw that my knee seemed to be holding up, they resumed their run at their own pace. Since I wasn't the fastest as a lineman anyway, it slowly got quiet and eventually lonely around me. I was probably the tail light. It doesn't matter, the Olympic idea counts!

So I'm running around on the Neroberg to prove my willingness to perform when suddenly a VW Beetle drives up next to me. Stefan "Landi" is behind the wheel and only says "Where do you want to go?". It was clear that Landi was one of the first to cross the finish line. But where did I want to go? Of course also to the finish line. But as Landi then explained to me, I hadn't noticed something about the route at the start. Not only was I lost, but I had missed a turnoff towards the finish line and was currently panting and sweating away from the finish line.

Did I already mention that I have always loved the cohesion and the mutual motivation and support in the team? Landi loaded me into his Beetle, drove me to a bend in front of the finish line and then let me run the rest of the way around the bend and to the finish line. At least I made it to the finish line last. As I found out later in the exchange of experiences, I wasn't the only one who had walked past the turnoff to the finish. But I was the only one being driven in the car!

More photos from the early days of the Wiesbaden Phantoms can also be found online in my photo archive Lichtbildwerkstatt.Net!

Stay tuned for more to come and don't forget to support the Wiesbaden Phantoms.
Above all, stay healthy!

Have fun!
Howard #70



Copyright (C) 12/2022 by Howard Fuhs