Thunder, Lightning and Me Part 1

As an intrepid runner, you are in a constant war with nature. You might be the most anal conservationist as I am, but you are at war with nature each time you don those short and shoes and tank top and decide to brave the elements for a few good miles of solid running. There is no better time to win those small battles against uncooperative weather than during the spring. This is the beginning of warm weather, allergies and extremely inclement weather of the rainy variety. Indeed, the toughest battles against the unforgiving elements are fought on the serene battlegrounds of spring.

I mention this because I am, at this very moment, sopping wet. I dried off my hands because I had a story to tell and I wanted to type it out before I rushed upstairs to dry myself off. My shoes and socks are oozing water over the plastic piece that sits below my office chair. When I sat down, the sucking noise made by swimsuits was made by my shorts. When I adjusted the back of this chair, people in the next room heard a loud peeling noise. I am not a pretty sight right now, but I won. I won my battle with nature today.

I will admit to some foresight into the potentially pathetic weather situation. After all, when I walked outside to go to my car, it was raining. It was supposed to clear up, however, and lo and behold, by the time I had driven the two miles to the place where I normally park, the sun was a hazy outline behind the clouds and it looked as if we might be saved after all. It is under those gray and hazy but dry conditions that I began this run, and I hoped that it might stay like that. For the first two miles, though the gray clouds piled up once more, it did stay dry and I was prepared to just miss the next bout of rain. As I turned a corner and headed down one of Saline’s main drags, however, the drops began to fall. As I progressed another few hundred feet, they began to fall at a greater rate. Within the next quarter mile, it was pouring, and I was regretting only one thing.

It was not that I had chosen to run in this weather, but that I had bothered taking a shower when I could have waited for a free one. There I was in the blinding rain, people driving by and seeing only a mass of black and yellow (the colors I was wearing) cloth dripping and drooping, and I could only think about the many times this had happened before. It was an interesting rain even if it was typical for this time of the year, but then the spice was added as I passed an auto parts store; lightning was all around me.

Not only did I have to cope with the driving rain, which made morning seem as night, but now I faced the prospect of electrocution. What was even worse is that there were trees all around me; so one lucky strike could also spell an untimely end for me. These were dangerous conditions for a runner, and as there were no other runners in sight, as there normally would be, I could only assume that I was either the bravest or the dumbest person in modern athletics. Nonetheless, as the deafening thunder and streaking lightning temporarily ruled the skies, I continued on.

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