People sometimes ask me why I run?
They can understand running to the refrigerator to get a beer. Or running because my house is on fire. Or if I’m on fire, although technically I shouldn’t run then, but rather stop, drop and roll. Or if I were being chased by a ravenous grizzly bear.
That reminds me of the joke of the two hikers who were attacked by a bear. The one quickly grabbed running shoes out of his backpack and started putting them on. The other one cried out, “Are you crazy? You can’t outrun a bear!” With his running shoes on, the other hiker calls back, “I don’t have to outrun the bear. I only need to outrun you!” But I digress.
The bottom line is that I want to live. I am literally running for my life. I believe in the value of exercise. I am not an aerobics kind of guy. Forget yoga. (Freaky little Jedi master that he is.) I don’t even know where Pilates is on the map. And I’m just not a weightlifter. I’ve never gotten into biking and riding on the roadways with cars would scare the hell out of me. At least I can run against traffic and dodge off the road if necessary. (And I have had to do that on several occasions!) And if running around the block and ending up no further than when you began sounds stupid, then sitting on a machine and spinning is really out there.
No. I love to throw on the sneakers and take-off. I love new shoes! I love to run when we travel, as it gives me a chance to get up close and personal with new locations. You see things slower than you would driving. You feel the terrain under your feet and the climate on your face and see the people giving you strange looks.
I run for my health. I think; therefore I am. I run; therefore I will be.
I run in the heat and humidity (did 8 miles today with 82 degrees and 73% humidity.) I ran in 100 degree heat in Phoenix. I run in wind chills below zero. I love to run in light snow, and even rain is pleasant this time of year.
A few years ago, though, I slipped on a patch of ice and boogered up my ankle. Yes we have a
dreadmill treadmill. No I didn’t use it. Yes, I should have. Let’s move on already. I felt something snap, but the X-rays were negative for any fracture. Regardless, my ankle was swollen three times its normal size and my foot was all black and blue. I could barely walk. This happened the end of January that year.
By late March, I was running again, but the spring weather brought wet conditions. Where I live, I have to run a short trail from our development to get into the town proper, as the main entrance opens onto a four lane expressway that I don’t feel comfortable running. (A circle around our development is only about 1.5 miles and would get boring otherwise.) But with the wet spring, the trail was muddy and treacherous. I was concerned about twisting my ankle.
There is another way to get out of our development, but it would require using someone’s driveway that connects the entrance road to our development to another road that leads into town. I knew the owner, a fellow surgeon at our hospital, so I called him and asked if it would be okay for me to use his driveway to cut into town for a month or so until the weather was better and my ankle was stronger. He said no problem.
The very next day, I ran through his property on the driveway. His wife, though, apparently hadn’t gotten the memo, and was out doing some gardening. She chased me down the driveway waving a hoe at me, and yelling that I couldn’t just trespass on her property.
I stopped–fearful and embarrassed– and explained who I was. I had met her before at hospital functions, and at my office where her husband is my patient. I also explained to her that I had called her husband and had gotten his permission.
Unfortunately, that did little to diffuse her anger. She turned in a huff and stomped off muttering about how people shouldn’t think they can just use her driveway any time they want. (I fear her husband might have had to sleep on the couch that night!)
Needless to say, I never ran that way again. I took my chances with the muddy terrain. And survived.
But my family still loves to talk about the time dad got chased by a hoe.
Yes, I was literally running for my life.