And everyone always thought my sister was the crazy one in the family.
When it’s pitch black and no one is watching the cyclic movement of your legs on the shriveled sidewalk, or seeing the rhythmic puffs of air beating out of your lungs every third step, almost making you look like a metrical chain smoker, you know you’re the one who has lost a few marbles upstairs thinking that a run in the dark is a sensible idea. Maybe Dr. House took a little bit more out of my beaten head than he thought the last time I was under the knife.
That was his name. House. Crazy, I know.
On cue I let out a mental curse word for the weakened iliotibial band that is gnawing on the outside of my right leg every time gravity pounds pulsating vibrations up the side of my pathetic appendage. It’s moments like this when Thursday morning yoga would in fact be my greatest ally. But then again, what normal guy wants to put on a pair of elastic pants and drip his face on to a training mat while mangling his body into downward dog?
Mental Self: “Uh…I would?”
Shut up Swamp Thing. Everyone knows that you’re a nutcase.
You know something is wrong when the puddles you’re running through on the streets aren’t puddles anymore. They’re just transparent glass fragments that crack and break into shards with every step that you take. Something must be a little bit unscrewed upstairs if you think that the frozen world of late night Logan is a good stage to host your exercise routine. A time when the only ones on the streets are the stumbling teenagers finishing up the third act of a late night booty call. A place where your own spit freezes before it hits the ground.
To my left a split-level house has been plastered with a bombshell of overexposed Christmas lights that are flashing at an absurd level. Almost like Santa on roids having seizures vomited on this guys gutters and front lawn. In the 1200-square foot imitated north pole underneath, a balding mid-life crisis lies in bed and soothes himself to sleep by saying the phrase “Go Big or Go Home” on repeat, meanwhile his stay-at-home housemate has unpaid credit card bills and almond-crusted Symphony bars dancing away in her head.
In my head, when I’m running, I construct some of the most off the wall, outlandish scenarios known to man. But then again, what else am I supposed to think at ten minutes to midnight in pitch-black Cache Valley?
I have gotten to the point where the blood in my hands, in my face, in my chest, anywhere in my body has hibernated away into cold storage meanwhile some lunatic in a black robe holding a scythe is starting to gain ground a few hundred feet behind me. The term shriveled is a good description for how I’m feeling while I keep slugging away trying to find where that curse word sidewalk ends. I pass the house where I first met my Dad. It’s too cold to get chills out here.
Any logical individual might question the motivation or reasoning for being out here, to be torturing myself when no one is watching. And honestly, I don’t really know why I do it. It’s not a therapy, or a form of satisfaction. I don’t do it for you or for me or for her, heck, I haven’t even met her yet, why would she have any say in this? I’m not doing it for you to read about in a future posting that could possibly instill some type of psychological drive to accomplish something great in your own life.
Jane Doe: “I’m going to build a boat!”
John Doe: “I’m going to learn Spanish!”
No you won’t. Now go back to your mundane excuses for a life while I chase after a white-tailed deer up 100 East at an eight-minute pace.
Out here, in the dark, with the cold air drifting me away into a form of insanity, that’s where I am. With the frost starting to gloss up windshields and an extra layer of blankets being tucked over your shoulder, I’m out here in the dark, sweating my life away on the streets of a small town in Cache Valley. At ten minutes to midnight and every ounce of energy being throttled away into my trampled shoes. Out here, in the dark, I’m the crazy one.