About two years ago, I got tired of being a fat video gaming geek. I started running, first on a treadmill, then outside. I ran a few organized 5ks, then 10ks, and this January, my first marathon. I’m going to run another marathon in June, and to train, I need to run long distances at least once a week. Because of my schedule and circumstances, the best time for me to run is at night. I run on a sidewalk along a well lit street, with reflective gear and a blinking bike light.
Tuesday, at about the 3 1/2 mile point, someone in a car going about 45 miles an hour tossed an egg at me and it miraculously hit me right in the junk.
I crumpled to the ground almost instantly; by the time I could look up through my blinding pain, I couldn’t see any identifying characteristics of the car that egged me, other than to tell it was a car, not a truck.
I couldn’t do anything for the next five minutes other than hunch over, in a semi-fetal position. I don’t know how to describe the pain, the closest thing to it is having the wind knocked out of you, feeling like you have to go to the bathroom, and having a porcupine in your crotch, all at once.
I won’t lie. My first reaction was rage. Was there any way I could get up and chase down those miscreants, silver-Terminator style and exact a revenge? Of course not, they were long gone. My second reaction was also rage, but more generalized. Here I am, trying to improve my health, and some stranger I’ve never wronged to the best of my knowledge throws a fastball to my family jewels? Why?
As I sat, crouched protectively around my wounded…pride amidst dime sized fragments of egg shell, I then wondered what to do next. Here I was, miles from home, injured, and alone.
Or was I?
I always run with my phone. Besides being my mp3 player, it tracks my runs through GPS. I considered calling the police, but I really had no useful information to give them. I also considered calling my wife, but it was late, and she really needed the rest. As I straightened up from the ground, I got on Twitter and typed, “Ending my run early. I just got egged in the groin by a car going at least 45 mph.” Within seconds, I had 4 or 5 responses of sympathy and outrage. As I slowly limped toward home, 36 messages of support and concern, jokes and remedies distracted me from the pain, and helped me continue walking toward home. I was even able to jog the last 2 miles.
I want to thank the following people for helping me that night. With 140 characters or less, you let me know you cared, you were angry on my behalf. You made sure I was all right, that I could get home.
You were with me.
At the moment I wanted to hate my fellow man for inflicting pain on me, you reminded me that love and community is always stronger than hate, rage and aggression. That words have power to heal as well as hurt. That we don’t have to face our problems, no matter what they are, alone.
@Schnik, @TheFireTracker2, @ahockley @cherylble, @gamewatcher, @MikeCanDoIt, @Dumbelievable, @chilisweet, @janelpettit, @thagrrrl79, @GunnarSimonsen, @bpmcgillis, @dagraffman, @michaelperozzo