Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Tale of Two Runners

Today I had planned on sharing a new crafty idea or perhaps my new flowers I had purchased and arranged in my pots, but these things will have to wait. I have a story that needs to be told and the writer in me will not leave me in peace. This isn’t so much a “Lucy” moment as it is a scene from a Stephanie Plum novel, but trust me…… it really happened.


My best friend and I run together at 5:45 a couple mornings a week.  She actually lives about 12 miles from me, so we meet at the park in a small town that is about half way for both of us. While this is super early, I find that it is really peaceful to run at this time.

Today was no exception. We showed up at 5:45, got out of our cars and proceeded to briskly walk for a warm up, which quickly turned into a jog. Normally, we steer clear of any main thorough-fares so we don’t have to worry about traffic but today we decided to stray from the norm. In an effort to lengthen our workout a little, we decided to take our jogging route along the main street (which is also known as Route 1) for the first time. This is not only the main street of this small town, but the main route everyone takes to get to work since it leads to the largest city in our county. We joked about how everyone will be so lucky to see us in our early morning glory, jogging along while traffic buzzes by.

So there we are, easily jogging along right in front of the library on the main street when out of the corner of my eye I see my BF’s arms flail in the air and she promptly disappears from my peripheral vision. I start to squeak out a giggle because I thought she was having one of those really graceful tripping moments when you flap around like a weirdo, but catch yourself at the last minute. All I could think to myself was that she was going to be so mad that she tripped on Route 1 with all this traffic going by…but it’s going to be so funny. Then I realized that she wasn’t catching herself and she continued down to the ground where she proceeded to roll on the sidewalk. This prompted a loud guffaw-like belly laugh from me because now she’s rolling on the sidewalk while traffic streams by and let’s face it, it just looked hilarious.

..and I should never, ever be hired as a first responder.

That’s when it started to hit me that her face didn’t so much look like she was laughing as it did crying and I finally got the words out, “Are you okay?” between laughs.

She wasn’t. In fact her exact words were, “NO! Oh duck, duck, duck, it hurts so bad! Oh duck, duck, duck.”  You may think that this is a strange time to play an extreme round of Duck, Duck, Goose but actually she wasn’t saying duck if you get my drift.

You know the awkward moment of feeling like a jerk for laughing while someone rolls around in pain? Yeah I definitely had one of those. But I shake off my moment and flip into EMT mode…which is basically offering to look at the injury while silently praying to not see something really gross. Turns out she sprained her ankle by turning it under when she stepped off the sidewalk and we weren’t going to have a Kevin Ware moment. Thank you sweet Jesus!

It was at this point that I realized that we were still on Route 1. That being said, I feel the need to explain a few things to people that are not from our area. The little town we were running in is known for their bar scene… to put it mildly. In fact, one of the most notorious bars sits right on the town square which was about a block North of where we were having our little “scene”. I think the only thing I need to say about this bar is this; the name of the bar is Julie’s Shooting Star, but it is often lovingly referred to as Julie’s Shoot and Stab by many in the community. That’s probably all I need to say about that, but I will add that it is often a fun pastime to witness the heavily intoxicated people walking home through town after a crazy evening. Everyone that has lived around here has a story or two about witnessing someone wandering home.

So..back to the story..I look at my BF and say,”Everyone driving by is laughing at the two drunk girls wallowing the sidewalk right now, we need to get you out of here before the cops show up.” Nothing like getting a drunk and disorderly at 6:00 in the morning …….and when your 33 years old and not 21, it’s not as fun as it sounds. She takes a deep breath and we get her up on her feet where she proceeds to hobble back the way we came for about 3.2 seconds before she realizes that she will not be able to gimp all the way back to the car…and as buff as I am, I don’t think I could piggy back it.

Next to the library is a cute little train museum that is actually an old little train station. It has all kinds of train paraphernalia around it, including a bright red caboose parked next to the building. We get her on her way to the caboose at which that point I say, “I will run back to the car and come pick you up, stay at the caboose.” So off I go, running like the wind, singing Eye of the Tiger in my head while I’m on a mission to save my friends life. Okay, maybe not life, but she needed me, man!

After about a block I was seriously rethinking the pace I had set for myself, but soon I was back at the park entrance. Normally, we would jog around the park, keeping to the sidewalks and side streets but this required a more direct route. I run right down the middle of the park, zeroing in on my car just on the other side of all the trees. An elderly couple eyes me warily as I breeze by on my mission.

I am running along, about halfway through the park when I see a pair of shoes laying in the grass up ahead. I thought to myself, some poor kid left their shoes..awe. But as I get closer I see they are little boy’s shoes and as I start to pass them by, I see they are Nike, black and bright green…..and they are practically brand new. Hold up! I back track a couple feet and grab them babies up. Sure enough they are the exact size my youngest son wears right now. Say What!? What are the odds of finding free, brand new, Nike tennis shoes in the park? This is unbelievable and I feel really sorry for the kid that is getting in major trouble this morning.

This was a sign.

This was meant to be.

I was so excited, I grab my phone to take a picture, because this has got to be posted on Facebook. No one will believe this. I feel like I won the lottery! I slide my thumb across my phone to unlock it and that’s when I see the last text message that was sent. It was from my bf. Crap! In my free-shoe euphoria I almost forgot that she is waiting on me to rescue her. So I football tuck the shoes and sprint the last 50 yards to the car, where I lay on the gas to go pick her up.

As I round the corner and pull up to the train museum, I can’t see her. I’m looking all around and she isn’t there and my heart stops. My first thought is that perhaps she was falsely picked up for solicitation, but alas her head pops up and she hobbles to the car. She sits down and looks at me and I ask her how she’s doing. She says,”Eh, it hurts but I’m more worried about how bad it’s gonna hurt later.” At which point I reply, “Well, let’s focus on what’s most important here.” And then I whip out my shoes from under the seat. “Look what I found in the park!!” Her eyes got as big as saucers as she says,”Whoa! Those look brand new!.” “I know, and they were just laying there…and the best part, they are Chris’ size!”

I could tell by the look in her eye at the exact moment she realized that I had stopped and picked up shoes in the park while she was sitting there in pain, patiently awaiting  my arrival.  She just shakes her head and says, “How does this stuff happen to us? I mean does this happen to normal people?”

I’m almost positive it doesn’t.

In fact you may be hard pressed to find someone who falls down, sprains their ankle and has to wait on a bright red caboose while her friend runs for help while curiously finding a pair of free shoes in the park all at 6:00 in the morning.

..and for that sentence right there, I had to tell this story.

Happy Wednesday.



1 comment:

  1. Great story, sweet pea. I could tell these stories for hours and I can't count how many have happened over the years. But I'm happy to genetically pass on the phenomenon of "weird but entertaining". :-D