The hazards of exercise

Mar 2 2012 - 3:15pm

Recently I wrote a treatise on my morning walk. After reading it over I thought it would put readers to sleep, so I fell back on writing about my husband's mornings on the road. My husband walks at 5:30 a.m. and then rides his bike for an hour.

My husband started jogging long before it was popular. We were living in Arizona in 1969 and his middle age spread began to show itself, so he started to run.

By his count he has run in five different countries and in twenty-one states. Wherever he travels he takes a morning sprint through the area. Knowing this I had an ID necklace made for him, but it was the wrong era for men to wear necklaces, so he never used it. I expected him to wind up in the ER with a nurse looking down and saying, "Oh, I know him." Read further and you'll know why I worry.

One morning before sun-up he almost ran into a farmer's small vehicle. It scared the farmer, who yelled, "Watch where you're going you darn (censored) old fool!"

Just as nice as he could, my husband replied, "I'm so sorry. I didn't see you, I didn't mean to bother you." Which probably made the farmer more angry.

That wasn't the first time he'd almost run into something. Another morning he was on his bike climbing a hill. He bent to the handlebars to get more traction, pumping hard, and promptly ran into the back of a parked truck. And once he almost ran into a bunch of women strung across the road when he was similarly working hard.

I think after that they watched for him and warned each other, "Watch out! Here comes that darn fool."

He never hurt himself badly nor anyone else, but heading for home another time, whistling and enjoying himself, he hit a sheet of ice.

Down went the bike with him under it. As they slid across the ice he can remember he thought, "Well, this is kind of interesting."

Another time, as he ran in unknown territory he could always find his way back to the motel where he was staying. But in England we booked into a hotel near Hyde Park (the Hyde Park, not the town to the north of us.) He ran around the park for awhile and, thinking he'd run enough, he started back to the hotel. Soon he realized he had no idea which street the hotel was on.

He looked for something familiar but to no avail. Finally, he saw an English Bobby and approached him. "I'm lost. I can't find my hotel."

"What's the name of it?"

"I don't know."

"What street is it on?"

"I don't know."

"Do you have your hotel key?"

Sheepishly, "I left it in my hotel room."

At that point the Bobby was fed up with this stupid American. But they finally figured out which hotel we were in and with rude thoughts (I'm sure) the Bobby walked off. Kenneth never forgot his room key after that.

My one bad experience included a big dog, a poor dog handler, and me. While still dark, as I neared our local park a big dog bolted toward me and nudged me, knocking me over.

I put down my hand to catch myself and skinned it. The dog owner was very apologetic but I resisted telling her what a darn fool she was for not having her dog on a leash.

The rest of the story is I was scheduled for surgery on my elbow that morning, and the doctor thought I'd tried to work on myself early.

I guess the moral of this column is keep your head up, beware of dogs, vehicles and people, remember your room key and don't go out before the sun comes up.

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