One of the things I appreciate most about running is the opportunity to see a lot of things that other people miss. Generally, this just means getting to enjoy the beautiful historic houses of downtown Lexington, which I might just pass in the car without a glance. Or it means getting to run down some narrow side streets (or through Al Mohler’s yard…). But this morning, I got to see something awesome.
I woke up ridiculously early for a Sunday morning, as it appears that I can no longer sleep past 7 am, even though we went to bed super late. So I crept out of bed and decided to go for a run. As soon as I stepped out of the house, I felt like Lexington was being overrun with helicopters. It was ridiculously loud. The sound of helicopters isn’t abnormal in Lexington (an unfortunate side effect of having a dozen hospitals within 1 square mile), but this sounded like 6 or 7 helicopters swarming the city. So I round the corner and see a giant helicopter hovering over the buildings downtown. I ran down to the huge grassy area in the middle of the city where a small crowd had gathered, along with several police officers, blocking all of the roads. I stopped with everyone else to stare at this enormous helicopter, which is pulling a huge billboard through the air. This helicopter has been sitting in the field for a couple of days, so I guess this early morning flight was its purpose. It was pulling a billboard up to the top of the Fifth Third Building, where people were waiting at the top to hang it on the side of the building.
I’m normally not one to find helicopters particularly fascinating, but this was super cool to watch. So I stood around and stared for a bit before deciding to continue my run along a path that would allow me to keep watching the helicopter at work. So I run a little further away from home when I realize that Eric would think this was awesome. You see, Eric works for a company that helps design helicopters, and his company works for the company that made this particular helicopter (make sense?). So I decided that Eric definitely needed to see this thing in action. But I need to hurry home, since I have no idea how long this thing will be in the air.
So I start to sprint home.
I am not a sprinter. I can run long distances, but at a rather slow pace. I have never been fast. But I’m sprinting now.
For the first 30 seconds or so, I’m feeling pretty good, and thinking that I must look really awesome and in shape while I’m sprinting down the sidewalk. This feeling quickly fades, as I run out of breath and become that really awkward runner (gasping for breath, legs flailing) that people probably stare at with concern. Unfortunately, at this point, I’m still several minutes away from home. So I keep sprinting. And then I’m walking. And then I’m sprinting again. And then I’m walking. In the end, it probably would have been faster to just jog home.
So I get home, run to the bedroom (where Eric is still asleep), and cut a few years off his life as I yell, “Eric! You have to come see this!” He wakes up completely panicked and confused. I try to explain what’s going on, but Eric was a little too groggy to be interested, so I just grab my camera and run back outside.
So now I’m running down the street, carrying my enormous camera. People are staring. I get back to the spot where I last saw the helicopter in flight. The crowds are gone. The helicopter has landed. And I have sprinted in vain. Lame.
But I figure those few minutes of sprinting are probably equivalent to several miles of running, right? That’s what I told myself when I scarfed down some cookies this afternoon.
Here’s hoping you never have to sprint. And if you do, may your helicopter still be in flight when you get there.