It may sound cliche, but it’s amazing what you hear when you stop to listen.
Let me explain.
A few weeks ago, after an entirely too long hiatus, I re-introduced night runs back into my workouts. I’ve always loved night runs – be it roadwork (which is what has comprised most of my night runs over the years) or hill sprints. I’ve caught a lot of crap about it and how ‘dangerous’ it is running at night. I’ve had buddies, family, ex-girlfriends (they were the worst) all tell me how crazy I am for running at night.
Personally, I totally dig it. In fact, I think it’s much safer than running during the day. I like music when I run (more on that in a minute), so if I run during the day, I have to be on a constant lookout for cars and such. Your head has to be on a swivel at all times.
At night, though, all you have to do is watch out for headlights. You see them way up ahead and you see them coming behind you. When you see them, you GTFO the way. The car passes, and there you go. And if you run in low-traffic neighborhoods or areas like I do, there isn’t that much to deal with. I can plug into my .mp3 player and get lost in my running.
In fact, I think I’ve put more miles on Creed’s ‘Torn’ than I did the last pair of front tires I put on my Mustang…lol.
Oh, my precious .mp3 player. If you know me, you know how big of a part of my life music is. I listen to anything and everything, and music is playing at almost all times in my vicinity. You could tell me that I could never watch TV again, and it might suck, but would be no big deal. Tell me I couldn’t ever listen to music again, and my world would crash.
So you can imagine the heartache and pain I felt when my .mp3 player died 3 days ago. Dead. Done. Not Working. Kaput. Gone and never to return.
It was tough – I’ve had that thing for going on 5-6 years. It’s been to Iraq with me several times, on several road trips, the motivation behind countless workouts and more. We had a good run together.
(For those that are in the local North Carolina area, I will be holding a small memorial service this weekend as I bury my beloved .mp3 in the backyard.)
Couple that with my external hard-drive dying 2 weeks ago, and I have effectively lost almost all my music. I have not been a pleasant man to deal with lately. Luckily for me, there is yahoo radio, youtube, and my favorite classic rock station out of Myrtle Beach streams online.
But back to night runs…
Some of you that are long-time readers and friends of mine will remember that a number of years ago, I wrote an article for MMA Weekly called “Poor Guys Run”. The article wasn’t about wealth, social status, how much money you had in your pocket, or what equipment you had available to you. Rather, it was about an attitude – a frame of mind.
If you’ve never read the original “Poor Guys Run”, you can read it by CLICKING HERE.
Little did I know that same frame of mind would come back as a sort of aura of hard work tonight.
I set out for tonight’s night run, given the recent demise of my .mp3 player and lack of music, in silence. As I my feet pounded the pavement, all there was to really hear was my own heavy breathing, the sounds of cars up and down a near highway, birds squawking their night-time noises in the trees, and the neighborhood dogs barking.
(Evidently, they don’t like it when Wiggy runs at night, either. ;-))
As I run through my neighborhood, I make it around the first gentle sloping curve – just a few houses down from mine. There are 5 kids (3 boys, 2 girls) in the driveway. They all look to be in their early 20s as I trot on by. They’re piling into a convertible – I didn’t pay attention to what it was. Something old – like a late ’80s or early ’90s Chrysler LeBaron or something.
Obviously, tonight is ‘party night’.
I truck on past, not paying them much attention. As I do, they all get kinda quiet. Just as I pass them, they resume their laughing and joking. As I trot out of earshot, I hear one of the guys say “Why is that asshole running? Doesn’t he know it’s dollar night at…” and mentions a local bar.
I shrug it off and keep on going.
About a half a mile or so later, I hit an intersection and hang a left. As I do, I hear and old lady on her front porch. I make a quick glance off to the left as I didn’t know anybody was there – it was dark under the cover of no real streetlights in the area, nor porch-lights on. All I see is the glowing ember out of the corner of my eye as she takes a drag on her cigarette.
“Doesn’t he know it’s too HOT out here tonight to be doing that running mess?”
I hear somebody with her, full of just as much attitude – “MMMMM HMMMM!”
When did this turn into “Talk shit about Wiggy” night? No matter – I keep running.
After about another 1.5 miles or so, I’m getting somewhat close to my house. Our neighborhood is really just a giant loop that stretches roughly 2.2 miles or so. Add in several off-shooting cul de sacs, crossroads, and re-tracing the way you came, and you have a pretty fair amount of running you can do.
I’m approaching an intersection that’s roughly a quarter mile from my house – a corner with a stop sign and a big streetlight. And in the distance, what do I see? It’s the kids in their convertible, stalled in the middle of the road. Evidently, that LeBaron had other ideas about going out tonight.
It being fairly quiet, and them being fairly loud and obnoxious, I can hear them all arguing from quite a distance off. The girls are pissed because the car has gone out on them and ruined their evening, saying something about “you’d better get this car going” or something like that.
As I get closer, I can see that the 3 guys (they probably weigh an average of 140 lbs each) are trying to push the car out of the intersection, and given that the direction they’re going is slightly uphill, they’re having no luck. I actually start to laugh to myself as I run up behind them, seeing these three guys having trouble pushing this car out of the road, their girlfriends (or whatever they were) watching them and talking shit the whole time.
Now, I should have just run past them, but I’ve had car trouble and been lucky enough to had people to stop to help me, so I figure it was my turn to ‘give back’.
As I run up behind them, the three dudes all turn to look at me (one is at the driver’s door, manning the steering wheel, the other two behind the car), only to look away as I run up to the car as they push…the car not moving.
I put both hands on the trunk, dig in with both feet, and start pushing. The car not only starts moving, but starts going so quickly toward the side of the road that the guy at the steering wheel had to jump in and hit the brakes so the car wouldn’t go down into a ditch.
As he does, everybody is quiet (especially the girls) and sort of looks stunned.
I peel away, and get back to my run. As I do, I turn, trotting backward, and yell to them:
“THAT IS WHY I RUN!!”
Have a kickass weekend.
Posted in Cardio, Character/Motivation, Circuit Training, Muscle Building, Strength Training | 7 Comments »