Why I stopped running…

This is a true story…I posted in on my blog, but think it might deserve to be here too.  It is really why I stopped running in 1994.

After giving up running almost fifteen years ago, about a year ago, I started again…getting myself back into shape and keeping from having to buy new pants…call me cheap.

I stopped running about 15 years ago.

It turned out that there was a new sport developing among teenagers close to my house…and it involved two teams. One team was composed of a vehicle full of teenagers and the other being various innocent runners, bikers, walkers or, as they were referred to by the kids…targets.

Before getting out of the Army, I had been running for years and had even recently completed a Marathon a few months before this first “incident.”

I would always run on the sidewalks with traffic at my back…and this evening was no different.

It was a muggy July evening at I was running at my normal rhythmic pace. I had this way both breathing that was almost hypnotic…

“Shhh…Shhh…Pffft…”

“Shhh…Shhh…Pffft…”

(Two breaths in through my nose and one long breath out of my mouth.)

After a few miles of this breathing, a person really gets “lost” in the pattern. The miles can really add up and any pain can be erased by both the pattern and the good supply of oxygen supplied to the body.

On this night, I was running with traffic zooming at my back…

“Shhh…Shhh…Pffft…”

“Shhh…Shhh…Pffft…”

“Shhh…Shhh…Pffft…”

THWAPP!

Down I went. Something hit me in the ribs. For all I knew, I had just been shot. Five years overseas in the Army, including some time in the desert and I had come back without an injury. After a week in the resort town of Virginia Beach, I was down.

I sat up and felt my ribs…sore…but no blood.

Looking on the sidewalk, I saw what hit me…an empty bottle of Miller Lite.

 Damn kids!

It took about ten days before I was both healthy and brave enough to get back to running again.

But this time, no running with my back to traffic. I would face traffic so I could see what was coming…

“Shhh…Shhh…Pffft…”

“Shhh…Shhh…Pffft…”

“Shhh…Shhh…Pffft…”

I saw it coming this time…even before the bottle left the little Ranger truck.

Before they let go of the bottle, I dodged left, leaping off of the sidewalk and even changing my pace to throw them off…

WHOOOSH…the bottle wasn’t even close this time.

“HA-HA!” I exclaimed…out loud even.

Facing traffic was the perfect plan.  I was surely too smart for these under-aged drinking teenagers. Back to running and after about another 1/2 mile…

“Shhh…Shhh…Pffft…”

“Shhh…Shhh…Pffft…”

“Shhh…Shhh…Pffft…”

I had my rhythm back and my pace was picking up…

“Shhh…Shhh…Pffft…”

“Shhh…Shhh…

THWAPP!!!!

Right in the neck.

They won and for 15 years, I retired from the game.

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5 Responses to Why I stopped running…

  1. Kimmothy says:

    I just…got so pissed off reading this that I’m not even sure what to say. I just really, really hate people sometimes and can’t imagine why on earth some go out of their way to be assholes.
    This is why I usually stick to hanging out with books and my dog.
    I’m glad you’re back running again.

  2. Shari says:

    God, what is wrong with the world?

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