Thunder, Lightning and Me, Part 2

Not only did I have to cope with the driving rain, which made morning seem as night, but now I faced the prospect of electrocution. What was even worse is that there were trees all around me; so one lucky strike could also spell an untimely end for me. These were dangerous conditions for a runner, and as there were no other runners in sight, as there normally would be, I could only assume that I was either the bravest or the dumbest person in modern athletics.

Nonetheless, as the deafening thunder and streaking lightning temporarily ruled the skies, I continued on. As the rain poured, I thought only of the immediate experience and how refreshing it actually was, not of the danger of the conditions or the fact that those driving by were astounded that someone would brave this weather at all. It was very warm, however, so it is not as if I was braving subzero temperatures, though I have done this as well. One might think that this kamikaze style of dedication is quite insane and that people like me should be prevented from running for our own sake, but I see this as a test of my dedication rather than proof of it. As the lightning began to weaken and the thunder made it possible to hear the background noise of my town and the rain began to let up a little, I found myself entertaining an interesting thought: I had won.

This will sound rather nutty, but I want to tell you anyway — I felt I had beaten back nature on yet another run. I realize that it was simply the passing of a storm and I happened to be caught in it, but I really saw it, in a way, as
another win for me. I remembered all those other times I had plowed through snow and rain just to put in some running each day. I remembered all the times I had fought wind and even blowing debris just for the want of some exercise. I’ve literally put my safety on the line for this sport, but I know what I am doing and I know how much I love to do it. As I said, this is a test of my dedication, and you can see that if you, as I do, see dedication as an abstract ideal to which one must aspire.

That’s the perspective from which I work, and although it might drive me to some rather cocky behavior, it has never met with anything but good results.

One interesting note, by the time I had reached my car, the sun was out a little bit. It was just peeking through a cloud, and a faint morning glow finally came to the place. The storm had officially passed and I was still here. My only hope was that there would be someone in the path of that storm who was just as dedicated to running as I am. That way, I knew that I was not the only insane athlete in the area.

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