Last week, July 3rd, a Sunday, to be exact, I ran, like I tend to do most weekends. It was sunny, though there were dark, threatening clouds moving in, accompanied by distant lighting. The sky was gray, and getting ugly.
Still, I kept running because maybe, I reasoned, the storm would miss The District.
I was humoring myself because I knew that I couldn’t get around it, though it was the best time of mistake, in hindsight.
I ran. Heel, forefoot, heel; Heel, forefoot, heel; a mantra that helps me because I am typically a forefoot striker, though repeating it els me keep to it.
I was running into a storm that everyone else seemed to want to get out of.
Despite that, I kept running. I did so partially because I would get caught in the storm either way; and besides, I get tired being afraid of things. I mean, when I am at the gym, sooner or later I hear someone warn me about stepping on the floor without something on my feet.
Everyone seems to wants to be afraid of this or that.
Sure, the gym isn’t the cleanest–in fact, it can be a bit skanky–but if athlete’s foot is the worse problem that I have, then I think that I am doing OK. That’s why I usually say: “Look. The worse thing that I can get is athlete’s foot; and if that’s the worst thing that happens, I think that I am doing really, really good.”
Eventually I ended up with a planar wart on one foot, and athlete’s foot on the other. In terms of bodily infections, relatively minor.
It was warm, and the rain didn’t change that, though I did not anticipate the wind. The rain fell heavily, but was manageable; though the wind transformed it into hundreds of biting, stinging insects.
It wasn’t the worse feeling that I have ever felt–after all, tatts cover my almost my entire deltoid, bicep and tricep of my right arm–but the rain hit areas of my body that I would (probably) never get a tattoo on.
Another problem was that I wore a pair of knee-length cotton trainer shorts–instead of the shorter running shorts that I should have wore. I tend not to wear them because I don’t always need or want the attention they sometimes attract.
Though I really regretted it because they acted like a sponge, absorbing what felt like their two or three times their weight in water.
Despite the problems, I kept running because to do otherwise would have been an admission of surrender, and Life doesn’t respect cowards.
And perhaps more importantly, I don’t either and I have to live with myself everyday.
So I kept running, till I passed the Washington Monument, where I ran in place for a while, sheltered by a tree because the constant pelting rain was really getting to me.
I know that when there’s lighting and thunder, hiding in the shelter of a tree isn’t the brightest thing to do, but in my admittedly unwise cost-benefit analysis, it was a small risk.
After a point, I noticed that the weather wasn’t changing, so I started forward; Heel, forefoot, heel.
Heel, forefoot, heel.