Spring Up the Bluff

I hurt myself yesterday & I’m still in pain.
Not coerced.
Not an accident.
I willfully, intentionally, and voluntarily engaged in a painful endeavor.

Here in Scottsbluff is a wonderful little place we like to call Scotts Bluff National Monument. It’s a nice place. A large bluff that overlooks the valley – great views. On a clear day you can even see Laramie Peak in WY.

Yesterday was not a clear day. Or maybe it was fairly clear, but I didn’t notice because I wasn’t there for the view. I was there for the annual Spring Up the Bluff relay run up to the top. (In a joke that’s surely been made way too many times, we decided we should come back in October when they have the Fall Down the Bluff.) It’s a pretty simple concept. You get 5 of your gullible buddies to agree to one leg (only about a quarter mile each) and the six of you pass the baton up the bluff.

We had about three problems, the first being gravity. It’s not easy to run up a hill. The second was wind. It was windy in town yesterday. It was insanely windy on the bluff! Parts of the run were made uphill against the wind. The third problem was an insufficient number of runners on our team. 6 legs divided by 4 runners meant that two of us ran two legs in a row. Jon and Greg ran the first two legs, then after Scott made his way through the tunnel sections (which had to be the toughest) I did the last 2 legs.

The biggest problem I had though was my own inability to accept the imposed limits of my insufficiently conditioned physical mechanism. I took off at a full bore as soon as the baton was in my hand (I kept hearing the line from Hidalgo about the beginning of the race is just for show). Quickly realizing I had a long way to go, I told myself to ease up a bit. Unfortunately, my self did not listen to me and I kept running… hard.

As I neared the next handoff point, I became acutely aware of how ridiculous I was going to look running through without handing off. (Or maybe heroic if they thought I’d run the whole thing.) But the motor kept turning. I kept telling myself to slow down. Things became hazy around the edges. My self still didn’t listen to me. My head pounded. I could feel my pulse in my cheek (which is kind of an odd sensation). And I kept running.

When I do this to myself, my lungs get pretty ticked off. They’re the part of my body that kept saying “Slow down, moron!” It’s not nice of my lungs to call me names like that, but I’ll give them a little leeway since they’ve been so neglected and abused. So now, I’ll spend a couple days sounding like I’ve been smoking for about 92 years. (If you see me hacking this week, don’t worry – it’s not contagious!)

The best part of the whole day was some good discussion with Scott on the walk back down. (I’m not sure what possessed us to pass up the shuttle?) I’m sore today, and sounding like I just puffed out my fourth pack since lunch, but I’m sure I’ll do it again. I seem to find ways to do this to myself…

Anyone want to go running???

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