Newspaper Bundle is a collection of newspaper columns available on Smashwords for free. The following column is not available yet nor has it run in the Georgetown News Graphic as of today. I thought I would give a sneak peek to my blog friends (even though this blog is brand new and I have no friends yet).
The Risk of Running
People often tell me I am crazy to run and bike in the remote areas of northern Scott County. I will be the first to admit that I find myself running to the beat of banjos and the occasional rooster call. Heck, I’ve been chased by dogs and once on my bike this spring I looked over at the pack of canines only to discover that one of them was sporting horns…it was a goat. The goat was chasing me!
Last summer I crested a hill on Hinton-Sadieville only to find myself in a standoff with five horses in the middle of the road. And you know my history with possums. Things like this probably don’t happen to runners who stick close to densely populated areas.
So let me tell you about my friend Gary. Gary is in the Georgetown Run Club and Intellectual Society. He is also a faithful employee of Lexmark. I imagine Lexmark really like him because he is very healthy and spends most of his lunch hours running the sidewalks of downtown Lexington.
Like many of the people in the Georgetown Run Club, Gary is an engineer. His brain is always moving like the well-oiled gears inside a Swiss time piece. Gary found himself on a typical run of typical distance on a typical route in downtown Lexington during a typical lunch hour. And on this typical run Gary, with his long rhythmic strides planned to step over the raised portion of the sidewalk on this same block that he had run so many times in the past. But for some reason, unlike the many times he had cleared the raised portion with his right foot… this time his toe caught.
Now Gary being the engineer that he is probably had a plan in the back of his head should such a thing ever happen. His brain was well aware of the injuries that take place when someone reaches out with both hands to catch their fall…broken wrists, broken collar bones…scuffed palms at the very least.
So when Gary’s toe clipped the edge of that raised piece of sidewalk his brain told him not to reach out. Gary did what any engineer would do…he braced himself for a roll…much like stuntman might do from a moving train.
Unfortunately, Gary’s head hit first. And then his shoulder. I’m not sure exactly what order the stuntmen prefer but with Gary the result wasn’t all that pretty. His head began gushing blood from the right temple, cars pulled over, and one man was even kind enough to take him to the urgent treatment center.
To make a long story short, Gary showed up a Run Club on Tuesday after two Cat Scans and as many trips to the hospital with six stitches in his head and two black eyes. The road rash on his shoulder was so impressive that he was unable to run because the friction of his shirt on his wound was much too painful. I’ll admit Gary managed to be the center of attention at Run Club and all the attention he was getting made me a little jealous. But was it worth it?
So you go ahead and tell me how dangerous it is to run and bike up here in these hills. Tell me I could be attacked by dogs or bears or some crazy person packing a banjo. Tell me these hills are too steep or the roads too narrow or the cell service too sketchy. Go ahead, but I will tell you this: there are no sidewalks to worry about out here. And I am pretty sure that right there makes it worth all the risk.