Every morning at 6am my dad would wake my sister and I. We’d sleepily drag our 7 year old and 9 year old selves from the comforts of our bed and lace up our running shoes. At the edge of the driveway, my dad would wait with stop watch in hand. Ten times up and down our street made a mile. Dad would run with us. Up and back, correcting our form and pacing our breathing. In high school, I ran both cross-country and track competitively. I loved the feeling of pushing myself even when I thought I was going to die. I loved the mental and physical challenge of running. In track, I was a hurdler. Cross country was for distance. As a hurdler, proper form can make or break the runner. From counting steps to the elongated form with elbows in, my dad’s training prepared me for this. Although I was never the star athlete, I loved running.
It has been years (okay decades) since I’ve run competitively. But, I still run….occasionally.
Recently, I canceled my gym membership in lieu of a weight room pass at the local community center. This is the same place I would train in high school when the St. Louis winters made it too unbearable to be outside. The track is elevated over the gym, relatively narrow with a small chain-link type fencing around it to keep you from plummeting to the ground from 2-stories up. But it is cheap and comforting.
For the past few weeks I have been using the track to improve my overall health and well-being. Progress was slow but by last week, I was almost at the 2 mile mark. This song was pulsing through my body signifying the peak of the run before moving into cool down mode. I rounded the last corner on the last lap of the last mile. I was running hard when it happened. The chain-link type fence jumped out and tried to steal the diamonds out of my ring proceeding to just about rip my entire hand off my body! After an embarrassing struggle with the fence, I wrestled my hand free. As I sulked off the track and down the stairs, I could hear that damn fence laughing. It had got a diamond, bent the hell out of my ring causing my finger to swell and turn the exact shade of bluish-purplish. By the time I got home, I could not get my ring off. Freaking out, I heard Chris in the background babbling something about cutting it off. The ring??? Or MY FINGER???? Hell no! After ice and dish soap and a lot of crying, I grew some balls and ripped the damn thing off my finger in one terrifyingly excruciating swoop.
The swelling has subsided, the pain is gone and the ring is at the jewelers. The embarrassment of being mugged by a fence, that is something that will probably never go away.