Since then, Spino has become a full-time running coach and gives seminars around the country. He has written three books and is currently writing another, The Mike Spino Mind/Body Running Program, on what he terms the mental and physical aspects of running, a program that combines meditation and mental imagery with the more traditional forms of instruction.
Chadwick was sure he could get behind such a program. After all, Murphy, who is now 48 years old, can run a mile in under five minutes.
As he settled into his seat on the plane, Chadwick wanted nothing more than to sleep. Although he lived in what he liked to call The Big Apple, he was on the West Coast for business and he had been dashing about all morning on appointments and, as a consequence, had missed the plane he had originally planned to take. Chadwick had met Spino at a seminar, which was how he had learned about the Esalen course. As he plopped down and turned toward the passenger alongside him, Chadwick was shocked to see that it was Mike Spino.
"This is really coincidental," Chadwick said. He wondered if Spino could smell the bacon on his breath.
"I'd say it's psychic," said Spino.
Chadwick felt like biting his tongue. Coincidental was so passé, so middle class.
During the plane ride, Chadwick checked out the man who would be his running instructor. He had been a bit concerned about karma and the type of clothing to bring to the institute, finally deciding against tie-dyed gauze shirts and sandals in favor of more contemporary garb. He noted with relief that Spino was wearing a blue velvet sport coat with the collar turned up—the style currently favored by male models in New York City newspaper ads—flannel slacks, a print shirt with the collar open, a gold necklace and loafers. He also carried a Gucci briefcase. When Spino turned aside to look out the window, Chadwick surreptitiously turned up his own jacket collar.
Chadwick was getting good vibes. He believed in giving off positive energy and felt that most people liked him, although, for some reason, dogs did not. Only a week ago his car had broken down in Tennessee and, while a mechanic fixed it, Chadwick had decided to get himself centered by taking a run down a desolate country road. After a short distance a German shepherd had come after him, barking wildly, and Chadwick had clambered up a tree, where he perched for more than an hour. Finally a local farmer drove by, heard Chadwick's cries and grabbed the dog, a creature which looked decidedly arthritic and half blind, although he had all his teeth.
"He musta thought you was S-caped," said the farmer.
Escape was what Chadwick was really after, of course, and as he and Spino drove their rented car down the coast from Monterey to Big Sur, he mused that this would be the weekend he found it. He planned to be back in San Francisco for a seven-mile race on Sunday. He would be infused with his new knowledge, and he was certain that he could finish the race. After all, at the Monterey airport Spino had pointed to the license plate of their car. The first three letters were ESP.