The Gods are agin’me.


     Day 283. Bataan Death March commemorative walk, from the LCSO firing range -to & back- from Cypress Lakes Subdivision, X3 – 27.2 miles.
Total – 1954 miles to date.

     We’ve all heard the axiom, “Once is a fluke, Twice is a coincidence, but Three times and it’s WTF’s goin’ on?” And so, conditions surrounding yesterday’s adventure confirmed that the Gods are, indeed, agin’me. I’ll splain.

     This week, I veered far off course by straying back into the south end of the County to settle an old score. Way back when I was an avid young runner, competing & completing a marathon was on the bucket list. I wasn’t sure I really could accomplish one as I didn’t, and don’t, have a runners physique. So, I trained hard in proper schooled fashion and wound up at my physical peak. I signed up for the Tenneco marathon in Jacksonville and the Atlanta Track Club’s event there. But in both, the God Hermes wagged the ole index and said “Naw. Ain’t happenin’ (didn’t know Gods talked that way). Injury or illness scuttled both. Then, ordinary life happened (including a catastrophic orthopedic injury) and 4 decades passed me by. That particular item on the list would just have to be one that got away. I recently read in the VD Times about the third annual -Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office Bataan Death March commemorative walk-, the length of which is (you guessed it) 26.2 miles. Maybe it would provide a surrogate accomplishment (albeit at a much slower pace) and an opportunity to wag one of my fingers at Hermes. I’ve walked a bit lately and figured I could probably check that box, and so I signed up.

     In the interim, I experienced the usual mild allergic reaction to our legendary seasonal pollen count. But this year my reaction ginned up into a bonafide sinus infection. Well, with the big walk coming’ up, that condition wouldn’t do so I went to the Box-Docs and was prescribed a big bottle of horse pills. Walk day arrived and I was only midway through those equine tablets. If you’re reading this it means you’re alive, having been at least once saved by one of the oldest miracles of medical advancement; Ordinary antibiotics. It also means you’ve experienced their primary side effect of it wreaking havoc on the ole digestive biome.

     Walk day arrived. I would not be denied. All the speechifying’ complete, the walk began and I set out at a respectable pace and with a moderate rumble down low. I figured with all these walking souls there’d have to be a Port-o-Let somewhere along the course. I think there’s a law. Four miles into the first loop, a turrible slidin’ pain commenced and the rumble turned to thunder. It fealt like the junior high lab experiment that teaches how chemical reactions convert solids & liquids into gas thats captured in a balloon.  It was then I intuitively read the telegram that the only water closet was back at the fort where I set out. (The organizers of this thing have a few logistic kinks to work out). At the moment I was absorbing that reality, I was in a manicured subdivision and the option of knocking on a door to ask if I could detonate in their half-bath was as unseemly as laying a post-Easter egg on their lawn. And so,  like the forced marchers of Bataan, I too was just gonna have to be strong. Reeel strong. Only four and a half miles to go. I got this. Along the route, the organizers staged various PT challenges for walkers to re-create the misery experienced by those American heroes of Bataan. But I was having none of it, as I was living my own Diarrhea death march. I was in no condition to engage in a cross-sphincter fit (or sphinc-fit if you like). I had bigger bass to fry, and so stoically I forged ahead. At one point the course winds its way around the South Lowndes sewerage treatment pond and spray fields, It was another unexpected challenge. That heady aroma (you know the one) proved a powerful olfactory trigger that dispatched an urgent telegram to the pyloric valve that read “Go Time”. I wasn’t sure if this mischief was the work of Hermes or his cousin Montezuma, but I learned in that instant, the Gods are real and they’re agin’me. Finally at a moment that felt like a kind of rapture, I plodded into station and made for the facility. But, Hermes was waiting for me there with a queue of people patiently waiting their own turn. I wiped a silent tear of anguish and dug deeper than I knew possible. Ultimately my moment came and passed and I was left to contemplate what I had learned. I resumed the remaining 18 miles to be walked, accruing 27.2 miles to add to my larger Lowndes tally. I was awarded a medallion of accomplishment, which I immediately conferred to the real hero of the day. Its odd feeling so proud of something not likely to bask in such triumphant glory again. 

     What did I learn? If you’re ever going to wag a finger at a God (any of’em) be very selective which finger you use. 
     Let’s go for a walk.

Quote of the week: David Sedaris

“ Keep walking, despite the impediment most heavy – keep walking , despite the agony most torturous – keep walking, despite the misery most foul – just keep walking, for your walk counts – for, your walk is not just your walk, but the walk of our whole humanity.”