‘The Georgetown Run Club and Intellectual Society’ Undergoes a Name Change
The Georgetown Run Club and Intellectual Society is undergoing another name change. It was only a few years ago that we decided to add “and Intellectual Society” to the end; since we are all so smart and eclectic and talk about super amazing things. Now we are changing again.
It was Martha’s idea. Martha has been in The Georgetown #Run Club and Intellectual Society for about 2 years now. But before she was part of the club, she was my #biking partner. Martha is like a mother figure to me, though my mother would have been 67 this year and Martha is in her young fifties. She is the happiest person I’ve ever met. You know the type, always smiling, even when she feels like crying. She is a #hero to me and to countless other pavilion goers that see her busting her butt on the elliptical and in the pool every week.
Martha taught me to ride a bike. Well, she taught me to ride a ‘road’ bike. She took me from a shy, brake-squeezing peddler to a confident cruiser in the span of a year. We ride twice a week in the wee hours of the morning, just her and I. We talk about life and vent all our concerns, after a couple hours we always part ways feeling a heck of a lot better for the time we spent together.
Martha joined the run club as a #newbie #runner. She struggled with issues on and off. She was almost ready to do a half marathon when her first injury occurred: she fractured her foot falling off a step. Once she recovered from that she was doing alright until her dog took her for a walk one day and ruined her shoulder. She recovered from that surgery like a champ. Somewhere along the way though, while getting back into running, she began to have issues with her heals. Every time she ran, she wouldn’t be able to walk the next day.
Now Martha loves the Run Club, but she didn’t feel right showing up and not being able to run. She felt like she wasn’t part of the club anymore. On a ride this weekend she made a request: “Can we rename the run club?” What a great idea! The Georgetown Run and Walk Club and #Intellectual Society, it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue but that’s okay. We have a lot of people in our club who walk, why not recognize them!
Well, this Monday Martha and I went out for our usual ride. It was wonderful. Martha always mentions how lucky she is to be able to ride bike and enjoy the beautiful mornings in northern Scott County. But this Monday, was different. After parting ways, Martha headed home on her bike to her house and so did I. I made it home, but poor Martha…she didn’t.
About 4 miles from her house she was charged by a dog. The dog hit her front wheel and sent her flying. She landed hard on the ground, breaking her pelvis. Her husband called me from the hospital explaining what happened. I was dumbfounded. She was so strong and happy just an hour before, now she was in the hospital unable to move, she’d have to use a walker and wouldn’t be back to herself for three long months.
I knew this would be hard for Martha; she is one of those people that multitasks and is always moving. She is either biking or #swimming or working in the #garden, caring for her parents, playing her #piano, canning tomatoes; always something.
It didn’t surprise me when I got a text from her husband. He was with her at the hospital and I was sitting at home preparing an email to go out to the run club. I was going to tell everyone about Martha and arrange for all of us to go visit her at the hospital on Tuesday night. The Text simply read: Martha wants to know if we can change the name of the run club again. She wants it to be called: The Georgetown Run and ‘Walker’ Club and Intellectual Society.
No Problem Martha, you just get better soon.
BTW: #Dog owners are responsible for injury caused by their dog whether it be from a bike or an accident caused by them. The ower of the dog that caused this accident had been spoken to many times about her dog and it chasing bikers. The owner blew-off the complaints, telling us that the dog was harmless. That owner (and her homeowners insurance) is now responsible for Martha’s bills and most likely a settlement. Martha spent over a week in the hospital and will have 3 months of rehap.
Being the ‘back roads traveler’ that I am, I have made it clear that I delight in the beauty of my surroundings, especially the #wildlife. There is however, another side to these roads…a darker side…the wild death.
I often ponder the image of a Far Side #Comic, not one that has ever existed but rather one of my own creation. In the cartoon there is a convertible speeding down a road. The driver of the car is a deer in sun glasses, riding shot-gun is a raccoon flicking a cigarette out, in the back there is a squirrel and a possum with big grins and hair wild with wind. On the sides of the road are dead humans of all ages in different stages of decomposition, flattened, with tire tracks through them.
Being on foot or #bike on these back country roads one stumbles (quite literally unfortunately) upon all forms of dead little creatures. They range from the extremely sick and twisted headless dear to the average everyday leather pouch looking leftovers of last month’s possum. And of course, everything in between.
Last October found me and my family visiting a #Revolutionary #War reenactment at Fort Boonsboro. The family and I stood fascinated as an actor showed us how to skin and tan our very own deer hide. So as a #homeschool mom I was not at all surprised to hear my daughter say, ‘mom, if you find a dead dear on your run today will you bring it home so we can skin it?’
Much to my delight, a large snake met is fate near the end of one of my #runs and I cheerfully brought it to my children for approval. They were let down; this wasn’t the buck they had imagined. But after some convincing, I managed to get an audience. I carefully skinned the #snake with my husband’s fillet knife which was last year’s Christmas gift from my sister. Finally we found a use for it! The kids were sporting exited expressions as I pointed out the little guys stomach and ribs. The expressions faded to horror as the days went on and scent of rotting flesh hung in the air on my porch. The nice actor never warned me about that. Ultimately the snake skin was moved farther and farther from the porch as the decaying process resolved itself…so far that we never saw it again.
During deer #hunting season it seemed every dog I saw was guarding his own piece of the kill. Most of the dogs just warned me with their eyes as I passed and they gnawed on their bone. One particularly playful dog however simply could not let me pass without joining me for a romp. So he snatched up his deer leg and brought it along. As we ran down the road side by side I was being kicked in the butt by a deer leg. It was rather strange.
Recently on an out-and-back run down my favorite road I spotted a perfect deer skull in the ditch. The recent rains had evidently washed it down the embankment for me to discover. A few yards farther down the road I noticed a really nice deer leg. I made it to my turnaround and ran back with extra spring in my step. As I approached the leg I barely stopped, just reached down and scooped it up mid stride. The skull took a little longer. With a leg in one hand and the skull in the other I loped the last mile and a half home with a strange imbalance. As cars passed I smiled as if to say, ‘I know! Aren’t they AWESOME!’
When I arrived home I gently placed the deer leg and #skull next to the cat skull, bird skull and cow skull on my porch. I pushed my door open and found my kids eating breakfast with my husband at the table. As usual they asked how my run was. I gave them a big grin and said, ‘hurry up and eat kids, it’s time for science class!’
Wild Death (published in the Georgetown News Graphic Column, 2011)
Since I poked my head out of my mom’s lower abdomen (she had a C section) I’ve been an animal lover (read #animal freak). I’ve rescued everything from rabbits to birds to cows to squirrels. Hell I’ve actually successfully resuscitated a chipmunk. Yeah, that’s right, mouth-to-nostril. Don’t judge me.
I’ve dedicated my life to animals (at least my pre-child life). I’ve been a horse trainer and a vet tech and a biomedical scientist working in animal research…so when I tell you I want to mace a dog, don’t go all #PETA on me okay?
Now as you may have figured out, I bike and I run. If you haven’t figured it out, well, welcome to my blog, newbie. I’ve had MANY experiences with animals and no matter how wild, half dead, or frightened those animals are they are nowhere near as dangerous as a #dog.
Even nice dogs are dangerous on a #bike. My new favorite saying is “I love cars that care about bikers, and dogs that don’t”. Just this morning I had the happiest dog in the world frolicking alongside my bike as I booked at 16 miles an hour pace. He was so happy to have a buddy to cruise with. He dodged back and forth in front of my tire with his tongue hanging out looking back at me begging me to play with him. Do you have any idea what happens when you hit a dog going 16 miles an hour? Neither do I. But I can tell you what happens when you hit them going 5 miles an hour up a steep hill…you fall instantly, slam your palm nearly breaking it, and skin one side of your body. And this is from a nice dog (#boxers are the worst…God they are cute!).
Now I don’t blame dogs for wanting to bike with me, I mean hell, I love biking too! And when they fly from their porch, shoot across the road and chase me, blowing hot air on my calf; I understand, I mean, my husband says I have really nice calves.
And when they actually catch my leg, tear it open and leave me no choice but to tell on them, forcing the owners to submit insurance information, sending me to a wound clinic and ultimately with a nasty scar, I still don’t hate them. I don’t think they are vicious, just really into the chase.
But when a dog corners you on a #run, not allowing you to move, jumps in your face and bites at your cloths, not responding to yells, threats, GO HOME!’s, or my favorite: the expendable arm. (This is where you throw a handful of rocks or a stick at them so they think your reach is way beyond your body and tells them to stay away), well, that’s a whole nutha bucket #crawdads my people. (How bout that hashtag!)
So, it’s a pit bull. I am not being doggie racist either, I used to have one and it was the biggest sweet lover in the entire world. It’s a pit bull and it is flat out vicious. And it’s not just that; the owners know he is vicious and they still won’t keep him in their 3 acre fenced yard. Every time he is out and I run by they have to intervene so I can escape. They don’t apologize; they just call him off me and take him inside without a word. Once they asked why I don’t just run a different road. (I love that road, all drippy with gorgeous…and flat)
The last time it happened I called animal control to report the dog. The dog owners told animal control that it wasn’t their dog, that it was actually a stray that people have been having problems with. So they are not only irresponsible pet owners, but they are flat out liars too! Sad, sad, sad.
So, yeah, this animal lover is going to bring mace on her run next time. It’s unfortunate that the dog has to suffer when it is ultimately the owners who are in the wrong. He is simply protecting them, and he gets to hurt for it.
So this brings on my next question: should we be able to neuter irresponsible pet owners?
You would think that going for a run is boring. But I disagree. Not only do I rescue turtle from certin death, I am often called upon to rescue goats. Seriously, I’ve rescued four this year.
My favorite road to run is dripping gorgeous. The trees reach high and touch in a dance high above my head. After a gentle turn I pass a field with a handful of goats.
Now I assure you, 8 inch square mesh is a perfectly wonderful choice for fencing. It works especially well for horses, unlike barbed wire which can cause nasty lacerations when they run into it.
But is isn’t the best choice for goats with horns. See, it doesn’t matter if you have them in a lush field over-run with alphalpha, they will always see the grass/flowers/vines/trees/weeds/cigarette butts on the other side, and it/they will always be greener. The goat will eventually put it’s head through the 8 inch square in the fence and its little tiny brain won’t let it figure out how to get it back out.
So, if you are running down a road (or biking) and you hear the cries of a dying woman coming from a section of fence along the side of the road, you should stop to help. Here’s how you do it.
Quietly walk up to the goat, talk to it (tell him about your childhood). Grab the horns firmly with your dominant hand and the bottom of the chin with your other hand. Pull the goat toward you, lifting up on the chin. As the goat fights and screams, wrestle the horns and head so they are tilted diagonally. Get the tips of the horns so they are both headed out the same square at the same time. Don’t let go until this happens. Once it does, the goat will pull himself out and be free.
Look into his eyes, see that look? It means “Thank You!” in goat language. If it’s a male, it probably means, ‘your hot and I would like to be the father of your kids’.