By Mitch Howard
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
My doctor said not to run when your blood pressure is up. I would like to think I know my own body pretty well. I know the limits and it tells me when I am about to redline.
Although it had been a stressful day and if I took the doc’s advice I would be doing nothing more challenging than folding underwear. Maybe I could do some yoga and listen to classical music. That’s just not my style.
I put on some sneakers, inserted headphones, and cranked up the Ipod. I promised I would run at a nice easy pace, something like the speed of the line when I drop off the kids at North Middle. The problem started when a young girl ran past me.
I had no desire to chase a girl, so I walked for a quarter mile to allow her a head start. You see men have this competition issue where if people outrun us we get mad and trip them.
I caught her before the first mile, so I walked some more to give her room. She seemed like a nice girl and there were a lot of campers in the park that might see me trip her.
I caught her a second time, realizing that I was running much too fast on a day I shouldn’t be running at all. That’s when I got the buzz.
It felt like the right side of my head was crawling with ants. From the ear to the crown, there was a short circuit. Something wasn’t right. I began to feel disoriented and slowed to a walk. Had the doctor been right? I turned back toward the campground entrance because the park ranger had been standing there when I passed. He would probably know what to do if I came through crawling and slobbering.
My heart was pounding and I thought, “This is the big one Elizabeth.”
The sound of Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam pulsed through my headphones. I didn’t want to hear any more music, so I ripped out the headphones. That’s when the buzzing stopped. I put them back in and the buzzing started.
So it seems one side of the headphones had shorted out. The right side continued to play the mumbling and humming of Vedder, which vibrated throughout that side of my skull like I had laid my head on an electric can opener. Headphones in equals buzz. Headphones out equals no buzz.
Then I stood in the middle of the road and laughed. The squirrels and birds though I had gone mad. Parents pulled their children inside campers and shut the door, as I stood there cackling like an idiot.
I put the headphones back in and started sprinting, but I did change songs. What do doctors know anyway?