Saturday, July 30, 2011

Reflective Answer For Yesterday's Post

    This post if for those of you who have been deeply engrossed in thoughts about how I could possibly perish while running (eww....you're sick....).
    Yesterday I wrote about the randomly mysterious animal (I assumed) tracks I encountered on my morning run.  Today, I discovered that I was wrong.  They were not hoof prints...instead...
    Today is Saturday.  Usually I run four days a week, then rollerblade on Saturday (I take two days of rest from exercising).  However, I had the uncontrollable urge to run today and forgo my rollerblading jaunt.  I think it was God wanting to give me the answer to yesterday's curiosity.
    As I made my way up the hill behind where we live, I heard a cow moo-ing.  It seemed pretty loud, and although I know that there are herds kept near where I run, I had never heard one so far up the hill.  As I continued my ascent, I was greeted by the startling sight of three cows munching the weeds that are starting to overtake the trail.  While I was thankful for some trail maintenance, the realities of yesterday's thoughts flooded my mind. 
     Whenever I feel the need to call 9-1-1, I call my best friend first.  (She seems to know whether or not I actually have an emergency on my hands, so calling her spares me the embarrassment of unnecessary emergenical calls)  So at 6:45 a.m. I asked her if cows wander randomly while being herded to their location.  She then informed me that Colorado is an "open range" state, which apparently means that these huge beasts can graze wherever they choose to.  I eyed them cautiously as I continued my run, grateful that they didn't decide to chase me but were content to just stand where they were and finish their meal (cows can run. I've seen it happen.)

Friday, July 29, 2011

One More Way To Die?

     I tend to ponder myriads of things on my morning runs, including ways to die while running, what my children are doing that day, my day's activities and what to have for dinner.  This morning I ran a section of trail that had large hoof prints.  I kind of know what deer prints look like, and these were much larger and not cloven.  I also saw some mushed excrement near these impressions in the dirt.
   My mind rattled with ideas (was it a bear?{yeah, the fact that bears don't have hoofs evaded me} or a moose? what do moose prints look like? maybe it's a rogue cow! I'm going to get trampled by a cow!!!) as I continued my journey.  The panic wasn't enough to stop me because I know I will die one day, and when it happens, it happens.  I trust that God has it under control, and if it's my time to die, there is nothing I can do about it.
   Finally I reached a turn around point (I can't just run until I can't go any father-I have to get back home somehow) and as I passed by the same tracks and trampled poop, I knew what animal had been here.  I almost slapped myself (that would have been a sight to passers-by: "Why is that crazy runner slapping herself? Oh, her hair's blonde....that explains it") for the panicky thoughts earlier.  Those hoof impressions were made by horses.  Not bears or moose or random cows.  It all made sense now.  The deep crescent shape was a horse hoof.  Well, I guess I could always get trampled to death by a horse....

Friday, July 22, 2011

1000 Ways To Die While Running....Well, More Like 4....

    While I was on my daily run this morning, I realizes that there are many ways I could die while running the trails behind my apartment complex.  The first one that crossed my mind actually took root last week-part of the trails that I run on are under these enormous power lines.  Since I take water on my runs (not to mention a high percentage of our body is made of water), I face the risk of being violently electrocuted if one of those line should happen to collapse on me.
     Another possible horror I face is being mauled to death by black bears.  I'm not sure if there are any lurking in the secluded woods where I run, but this type of bear does not take "playing dead" well.  They don't wait around for their food to grow cold before chowing down. Note to self: I must find bear mace.
   Last year there were mountain lion sightings in our area.  This too is a reality that I face as I run.....and I am sorry to say, but I am not physically capable of out-running one of these.  Even if I did manage to out-run one, where would I lead him? To civilization where he could maul countless children and not-so-quick adults to death?  Let's just hope this scenario never occurs.
    I have instructed hubby to question my whereabouts if I am not home within an hour of leaving the house for one of my runs.  I also use a phone app while running that has a gps tracker which I'm hoping the authorities can tap into (hey, they do it on TV all the time!).  A fourth scenario of my untimely demise is a vehicle collision.  There is nothing substantial separating the biking-running-walking-let-your-dog-poop-all-over trails from the actual road.  Cars and trucks fly down the hills and I've witnessed some illegal ATVing back there.  It wouldn't take much for one of those vehicles to veer slightly off course and take me out.
    So as you can see, not only am I bravely risking my life every morning for a run, but I've been watching too many episodes of "1000 Ways To Die"...

Saturday, July 16, 2011

I Almost Died Again Today...Well, Almost...

     So, I rollerblade. I try to do it every Saturday to change up my weekly running routine and work my lower abs.  Usually I wear jeans for the rare occasion of falling down.  This morning, however, I wore my track pants.  After today, I am highly considering investing in wrist guards, a helmet and pads.
     Since inline skates don't go very far in dirt, I only use them on paved surfaces-this limits my routes.  This morning as I was travelling down my usual route, I thought about how I don't like to go really fast downhill because I feel out of control, and that's not safe.  The last time I went barreling down a hill really fast, I ended up taking a chunk out of my pant-leg and knee (sure, it was elementary school, but that stuff sticks with you forever).
     This morning I had a late start.  I usually don't see anyone on my roller-blading jaunts, but today I did.  As I ascended this large hill, a huge dog came bounding down to greet me.  The golden-haired canine reminded me of a pet that friends of mine once owned.  It actually shared the same name, too-Storm.  Apparently the owner had not encountered anyone at this time of morning either, because Storm was not leashed.  I stopped so the dog could sniff me, then we continued on our separate paths.
    Time is hardly ever on my side, and my exercise durations are limited by what time hubby has to go to work (well someone has to watch the munchkins).  As I turned around on the top of that hill (I couldn't take an alternate route because the other roads haven't been paved yet), I knew I was headed for disaster, but I was on a time crunch and couldn't wait for Storm and his owner to finish their descent.
   Today's distance was a bit farther than prior intervals, so I haven't descended the hill from that height.  As I took off flying down the decline, I tried to slow myself by lifting my feet, but the effort seemed futile.  Well, Storm heard my wheels and turned around, bounding towards me.  All I could think of was the damage that would be done if she stopped right in front of me.  I started panicking, and all I could do was yell.  Storm's walking companion yelled for him to stop, but it didn't seem like an immediate possibility.  Faster and faster I flew, knowing this could only end in mishap-damaged dog and clobbered Chell. 
   At what seemed like the last possible second, Storm heeded the commands and stayed away from me.  I yelled "Sorry, I'm going too fast" as I passed them, but he may have just chalked the incident up to my naturally light hair.  As I continued home, I felt like my heart was about to explode.  I couldn't slow my pace due to my limited time, and when I was almost home, I realized that I may as well be wearing trick blades-my skates have a brake on the back that I never, ever use.  Why don't I use them? Well, it's probably the fear of using it up (it's a rubber stopper), but it sure would have come in handy today.  Maybe next time....

Friday, July 15, 2011

Lawn Mower + Rain = Yuck

   As mentioned in my previous post, yes I did go lawn-mowing yesterday.  Someone actually trusted me with machinery and I didn't die.  Almost, but I guess yesterday just wasn't my day.
   Yesterday I helped our friend, Mike mow a yard.  It has been years since I've touched a lawn mower.  I think the last time I mowed a lawn was when I ruined a riding mower by getting the blades stuck in a block of wood that was hidden under tall grasses.  We're talking about 8 or 9 years ago.  But I am always up for the challenge of trying new (or retrying) things!
    The mowers we used were electric, so we didn't have to deal with the stench or hassle of gas.  Well, no one mentioned that this lawn would be kinda of large and had a big hill.  Sports-induced-asthma girl should not be pushing lawn mowers up and down hills (at least not yet). 
    When we had about a quarter of the yard left to mow, it started to rain.  Not too heavy at first, just a light sprinkle.  Since we weren't stopping, I wondered if Mike had even felt it or if maybe he just shrugged it off as sweat.  Well, the rain started gradually increasing.  I told Mike, "Just let me know when we're going to be electrocuted, ok?" and he nodded, but that was the end of it. 
     So here we were, in the pouring rain, with our electric mowers plugged into the outside electrical holes, mowing grass that was becoming wetter by the minute.  I'm pretty sure that wasn't the safest thing we could have been doing.  I was waiting for lighting to join us, or an electrical short, but neither came.  We finished up the job, and by the time were were done, I felt like a wet dog who had rolled around in fresh cut grass.  The wind had been blowing softly, so there were clipping all over.  And I mean all over.  It was the grossest I've felt in a long time, but I do now have more respect for people who do mow lawns.  It may not be the hardest job, but, Mike Rowe, it sure is a dirty one.

Cheating Can Be Refreshing

     So yesterday I did something bad and didn't feel guilty about it.  Sure, I was kind of forced into it, but afterwards, I didn't feel guilty.  I cheated on my husband....well, more like my husband's manual transmission lessons.....
      Yesterday I was going to help our friend mow a yard (he owns his own business).  We took my husbands truck, but instead of making things easy and holding to our time constraints, he insisted that I drive.  For those who have been following the "Jeep Saga" series and my other mentions of my driving lessons, you are aware that I am not capable of driving a stick-shift vehicle very far or for long periods of time (especially since afterwards I am visibly shaken by it).
     Well, it came down to the fact that if I wasn't going to drive, the mowing wasn't going to be accomplished (either that, or he'd pick me up and put me in the driver's seat-he's a big man).  So, we went.  And several times the truck jumped (sooooooo not good for the engine....won't burn the clutch, but not good).  Each time, he laughed.  Usually it's met by complete silence, so it was refreshing to hear the laughter.  But i missed being able to squeeze my husband's hand when I was scared or unsure of what to do.  I miss the gentle encouragement JR gives.
    We ended up stuck at a stop sign.  Not because the truck was out of gas, or I ruined the engine, or the tranny wouldn't work, but because we were on a hill.  I can barely operate the vehicle on level ground, let alone a hill.  After stalling the truck a half a dozen times trying to go past the stop sign, I had to relinquish driving rights.  We eventually made it to our destination safe and sound.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Why I Love Running...

   So, I love running.  I know not everyone does (though I believe they should).  I'm not sure where my affection for this natural sport started.  Perhaps it's always been apart of me.  Maybe it's the feeling of exhilaration as I run trails in the early morning.  Or, or it could have started in elementary school when we would take turns pushing the merry-go-round as fast as we could while running as fast as our little feet would propel us.
   Either way, it's a passion of mine now.  I run 4-5 days a week, estimating a little over a mile & a half each morning.  If I don't do it in the morning, it won't get done.  And there's just something about running in the crisp morning air. 
   I love where I live, because there is a development about a block from my house that has a series of dirt paths built in.  The trails are separate from the main road, so I can run knowing that I'm not directly in a vehicle's path.  I also enjoy running here because I can choose my distance, difficulty, duration and direction.  These choices help me to escape the clutches of boredom that come from running the same course everyday.
   My asthma still plagues me, as I imagine it always will.  It's the running buddy I never wished for. Everyday I strive to fight against it's binding grasp, knowing that I will not win the war, but I can win the battles. 
   Before I started my running journey two summers ago,  I was looking for a running buddy.  Someone to run with me so that I would not be alone; someone to push me further than I could do on my own.  Well, I never could find someone, despite well-meaning promises.  And now, I'm not sure if I do need a running friend.  God is my running buddy.  I enjoy conversing with him as we traverse the early morning terrain.  The fragrant weeds (I'm not sure if actual flowers can grow on their own in this rocky location) provide a fresh start to my run and refreshing breezes are a gift from Him as I slow my pace to cool down. 
   There really is nothing like an early morning run with God.  He created me to run, so I do.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

"How Not To Stop A Truck"....

   ::sigh::  I wasn't sure whether to call this post "Two Doors Meet", "Mommy Almost Got Crushed", or "How Not To Stop A Truck"....
    Yesterday was July 4th-a fun-filled day of parades, parties, food, family, friends and fireworks.  This busy day is also when ER's see the most patients.  My obsessive curiosity saved our local ER some traffic last night.
     After attending a friend's BBQ, we stopped home to switch out vehicles-JR wanted to take the truck to watch the local fireworks show so we could sit on the tailgate.  JR unlocked the house so Amber could go potty before we left. Josiah started to follow her inside.  I started transferring the "usual stuff"  (purse, diaper, wipes, ect) between the vehicles.  As I was leaning into the side of the van, I heard a "pop" that didn't sound normal.
    I turned around to see my four and a half year old sitting in the driver's seat of the truck as it's rolling backwards down the parking lot.  Unlike some people, I do not have a fast reaction time.  Instead, I screamed until the thought of taking action materialized in my mind. Panicked (and not remembering what to do with a manual transmission), I grabbed onto the truck (automatic response was to stop it from moving) and shoved my foot onto the clutch.  Apparently that doesn't stop a rolling truck.  I racked my brain, trying to think of how to stop it and it finally occurred to me that the "pop" I heard was the emergency brake being released. 
     By the time I had switched the location of my foot to the e-brake, I could hear the sickening screech of metal against metal.  The open truck door had collided with the open sliding door on our van.  If I had still been standing there, I probably would have been pinned between the two.  The only (physical) damages sustained were to the doors (the poor van had no chance-the motor in that door is inoperable and it takes the force of a strong adult to close it; the truck's takes more force to close as well). 
   After the truck stopped rolling and I stopped yelling "Can I take my foot off the e-brake now?", JR pulled the truck forward to dislodge the door, and take a closer look at the incurred damage. Thankfully no one was hurt.  We did informed Josiah that he is not allowed to drive yet, or touch the emergency brake, but he still seems unfazed by the situation....

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th!

   Ahhh....July 4th. The national patriotic holiday commemorating the freedom of the United States.
  Why do I love July 4th?? Is it the fireworks? The excitement? Singing in the Freedom Choir? Even though all these thing are wonderful and certainly add to the holiday, I think my enthusiasm comes from being able to dress up and look silly.  This is the only holiday where you can look as ridiculous as you want, and as long as it's red, white, and blue, you get a free pass!
  This year has been more exciting for me, because Josiah (who has a sensory-processing-disorder) let me spray-color his hair and paint his face! Last year it was a struggle for him to allow me to draw a simple flag on his cheek.  This year, he asked me to do his hair and face!  Albeit, he didn't allow much, but it's progress!
   Amber was more of a sport, and she dolled herself up with all kinds of red, white, and blue jewelry.  I take a special pride in dressing up for July 4th, especially since I'll be singing in the Freedom Choir again this year.  We'll be performing in about an hour, so I need to hurry up with this post. Hubby has instructions to record the program so I can post it to youtube (www.youtube.com/blondiechell), so we shall see what happens. Last year the camera supposedly wouldn't work, so we're hoping it does this year!
              (shhhhhh!!!! the mask is a suprise for Christina!!!! she probably won't sing with me again, tho...)
aren't they cute??