As I Warn To Watch Your Step, I Fall Down

Irony has its moments, and it’s never more ironic than when that moment happens to one’s self.

As many of you may be aware I’ve been an avid runner for nearly 30 years. On average I run the equivalent of a marathon weekly and continue to this day. (5 miles a day – 4 to 7 times weekly)

I have run all that time outdoors in all weather conditions, heat, cold, freezing temps, rain, and so forth. I’m not crazy, I just have bought the proper gear over the years to do it comfortably for if I only ran in good weather – I would still be waiting for the right day to start.

Since my latest move to Columbus I have yet found a comfortable running route where I wouldn’t either get clipped by people not paying attention as I cross a street or entry way (I’m not one of those I’m running so you stop, I give cars the right of way) but I have found for some reason here, it’s as if I have a sign taped on me with a bounty “Hit this guy and win a free prize.” It’s been a little disconcerting.

Since the bad weather started last fall I decided to do what I deplore: running on a treadmill. However, I decided just maybe it’s for the best and so far its worked out and I was beginning to get used to it, although I couldn’t wait for the weather to break and look for a better route outside.

Since I’m at the facility here on the property during office hours I routinely bring issues up that may require a maintenance check for I probably use the machines collectively more than any other resident. What I began to notice were the treadmills (there are 2) were showing signs that something was amiss. So, as usual, I told the staff and they called for maintenance. One machine’s plug was pulled for the issue was obvious yet the other stayed in operation for it seemed fine to everyone else: except me.

For those not familiar with real running on a treadmill, if the belt for any reason (usually from wear) sticks as in momentarily freezes or slows for any reason, it can be enough to stutter step your run and you can find yourself in free-fall. It can be almost insusceptible to someone watching, but for the runner it can be unsettling.

Since the other machine was on a service call I decided to call one of the staff members in to demonstrate exactly what I was talking about for everyone else thought it was just fine. (most people were using it to walk rather than run) I showed them what was happening and what to look for and why they might not be aware, but I expressed it was truly a dangerous issue and needed to be fixed.

I then went on giving an explanation why I was still able to use it, for I knew how to work with such an issue until it was repaired (Just ran a little more to one side) and that I knew what I was doing, but not to think just because I was running on it meant there were no issue. They understood, thanked me, and went about their business.

Just two days later as the sun is shining and I’m deciding whether or not this is the “right” day as to look for a new route I decide: Nah, I’ll finish the week on the treadmill. So off to the clubhouse I go.

About a half a mile into my run yours truly, “the guy who knows how to run on these as to have no issue” has an issue and the machine stutters at exactly the wrong time, for I have both hands next to my head as I’m adjusting my headphones and running at a 10 minute mile pace.

I lose my balance and crash one leg onto the spinning tread and the other crashes across the shin on the side of the railed platform which in turn throws my legs out from underneath me in a spinning motion.

I go to place my hand as to save my face from the nearing spinning track only to have my hand once it hits spin underneath me bending my fingers into an unnatural, ungodly, nature not intentioned posture whipping me into a spinning bulk of flesh slamming me sideways parallel to the ground lodging me between a wall, the machine, and its spinning track against my back singing…Wrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

I was a little more than dazed and wondered just how foolish I looked till I then tried to rise only to find my fingers dislocated in as I said before, an unnatural looking grotesque way.

In the end I was able to relocate my finger on my own although my hand in general blew up like a balloon for many of the knuckles themselves were jammed and painfully so. (So much so as I type this it’s been a little difficult.) What I hadn’t noticed was I was so preoccupied with my hand not until the next day did I notice I did near an equivalent job on my shin for it too swelled like a balloon.

All in all I was thankful (although I got pretty well banged up) for it could have been far worse.

So the moral of this story and the life lesson I’ve taken away from this whole experience is this:

If it’s dangerous, and you know it. The moment you say or think:” Yeah, but I’ll be OK” is exactly when you should stay away from it. For it will be exactly in that moment you’ll find out just how stupid you can be when you think you’re “so smart.”

© 2014 Mark St.Cyr