Friday, April 29, 2016

Body Damage

Sometimes, stuff happens when you engage in your favorite activities.

This Tuesday was Eric's first tornado chase of the season. He was totally and completely psyched, down to participating in a conference call with the company he live-streams with and a bunch of other chasers. Turns out, the company just entered into an exclusive contact with the Weather Channel - sweet! This might up his changes of selling videos to the Weather Channel (if you don't know, he had one sell to the Weather Channel this winter during a blizzard and it got something like 600,000 views!)

Eric was up and out the door super early on Tuesday. He and HailNo headed to Kansas to play the "triple point," which is chaser-speak for the convergence point of the cold front, warm front, and the dry line of a storm. (Totally just got schooled for writing this wrong and made the correction.) The risk for tornadoes was really high throughout the region, to the point where several Oklahoma school districts cancelled school in anticipation of the bad weather.

HailNo and Eric dodged monster hail in the region, taking them down a number of Kansas farm roads. Kansas farm roads are known for nasty thick mud that chasers have taken to calling "cake frosting" because of the thickness and consistency. It's bad, and it hardens like concrete. Once you're in it, you're in trouble... which is where Eric landed. It got so bad, HailNo ended up in the ditch. I'm not sure how deep the mud got, but Eric told me that he had to turn off HailNo's traction control and whizz himself along for over a mile, tires spinning, to get out of the mud.

HailNo came home not only mud-caked, but dinged up as well. Somehow in the muddy fray, a piece of HailNo - the part that acts as a barrier between the engine compartment and the front wheel well got ripped off. Water lines were shredded. The cars struts, which were close to the end of their lifespan anyway, are now in need of immediate replacement. One tire has a slow leak. Fortunately, it's all relatively minor damage, and Eric made it home safe. Unfortunately (?), there didn't end up being ANY tornadoes that day!

View from the top of the Incline
The next day, I climbed the Incline, trying for my first back-to-back days of climbing. I'm prepping for this race in August called the Ascent, where you run up to the top of Pikes Peak. Yep, because I'm that kind of crazy... anyway, training on the Incline is helping me build the muscles I'm going to need to haul up the mountain, so I'm going as often as I can (4 times this week). It helps that the Incline is 10 minutes away from House #6. I was a little slower than the day before, but doing ok. The run down Barr Trail was going well... until. I've seen this guy before when I've done evening climbs. He's a little odd, but harmless. He goes up Barr Trail in the evenings carrying a large American flag. He usually murmurs something about Jesus as you pass him. He was doing his usual thing when I passed him, except this time, not only did he bid me a "Lord bless you," but apparently noticed my shirt and called out "Go Kalamazoo!" Well, that momentarily distracted me - "Kalama-what? Oh! My shirt! Oh... OH!"

Twilight at the top
Now, as my running buddy Megan will tell you, I fall well. I have an instinct for falling, bred by, I'm sure, the many MANY times I have eaten pavement on runs over the years. It's a totally involuntary thing, a sort of duck and roll as soon as you realize you're going down. I was down and up in about .2 seconds, dusting myself off and making sure there wasn't anything too badly mangled.

Just a flesh wound fortunately. I ripped up my tush, one knee, the palms of both hands, and, in what could only have been a feat of gymnastics, the shin of the same leg experiencing posterior trail rash. I managed to bleed through my capris by the time I was down (probably in part because I kept the blood pumping by continuing the run), but SCORE! I didn't rip my favorite pair of running pants.

You pay to play, but it doesn't mean you should stop playing - how ever you define "play."


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