Sunday, May 1, 2011

"The best laid plans of mice and men..."

Let's start with the pictures since apparently they were the high point of the whole fiasco:

4/30: Absolute. Fucking. Disaster. What was supposed to be a celebratory romp through the woods turned into 4 miles of running and three miles of painful hiking anger-fest. I don't know what the fuck I've done to make my left knee so mad at me, but right now it's pure hatred. It's amazing the mood swings that can take place in the span of 12 to 14 hours. I'd had a week of pain free VERY low mileage running and couldn't wait to get up this morning to spend a few hours alone in the woods. The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry (John Steinbeck). Fuck yeah they do.

5/1: It really wasn't that bad. It was actually pretty dumb. I haven't run more than 5 miles in almost a month. Okay, it was really fucking stupid. I paid for the mistake on my run and continued paying right through the night. Driving back from Philly last night, 2:30 in the morning, I got stuck in a friggin' traffic jam. 3 miles, 45 minutes, stick shift, shitty knee. Oh yeah. In my world, it was a big deal, in the grand scheme of things (what the fuck does that even mean, a grand scheme of things?), it's pretty inconsequential. Here's the proof: I had a patient the other day: 84 years old, Ukranian, strong as a tank. As I was finishing up his stress test he told me that he was going to live to be 150. I laughed and asked him what made him so sure. He proceeded to tell me about how he fought in World War II, got shot and then put back together, and eventually returned to fight the Russians in Poland. He was captured one night blowing up a bridge and sentenced to death by firing squad. On the day of his execution he and 9 other POW's were lined up and all 9 were shot. When it was his time, the marksman missed and his execution was commuted to a life sentence. After 10 years and 4 months in captivity he was freed and told me that after that, there was nothing that could stop him.

I've had the privilege throughout the years to hear stories like that: a dying guy telling me that he was one of the first Americans through the gates at Dachau, a patient shot by the Germans during WW II and thrown onto a body pile that was eventually found alive by American soldiers collecting the dead, and German Jew that escaped a concentration camp by hiding in the baggage compartment of a train out of Germany.

I guess my point is that, as Evan Hone says (check his blog on my favorites list), it's just running, and really, it's kind of dumb. There's far more discomfort and pain than elation, it's incredibly selfish, it's very easy to be a dork like me and go on a 7 mile run weighed down with enough crap to go camping for a week, and it's really not that hard. Don't get me wrong, I've probably learned more about life running through the woods than nearly any other place I've ever been. It's improved my mental health greater than a whole pharmacy full of drugs, and it's a physical and mental challenge that I cherish, but in the end it is only running. How ridiculous is it that I limped through the woods throwing a temper tantrum, screaming 'FUUUUUUUUUCK!' at the top of my lungs, and feeling like a 5 year old that just had his GI Joe stolen??? It was sunny, warm, I ran into a very hot woman, and walked out of the woods under my own power. Not much to whine about. Idiot.

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