The Cooler?

I don’t know about you, but I find much greater joy in things when those around me are finding joy in them too.  Over the past year or two, I’ve had the sense that perhaps I carry a curse and I am going to just put it out there so, if nothing else, I can purge it somewhat.

I’m afraid that when it comes to running, I’m a cooler.

Cooler [Noun] A term used to describe someone who either knowingly (usually found in casinos) or unknowingly (usually in a bar) ruins a hot streak or situation. (Urban dictionary)

I don’t mean to be. In fact, I’m a natural cheerleader, perhaps to the point of annoyance… someone close to me tells a story of my trying to be encouraging during a mountain 5 miler, when I turned and ran backwards for a moment in order to try to help him along. (Apparently that’s rude.) I’ve been apologizing since – but I meant well. Honestly! I digress.

Those of you who are kind enough to read my drivel regularly have heard mention of my friend, Kimberley, who was my impetus to ever start this running nonsense in the first place and who, over the course of our time running together, was both great company and a bit disturbing. You see, she kept getting injured. Some overuse, some just big old yardsale wipeouts. For the past few months, she’s been sidelined with a foot injury that I just can’t help but feel somewhat responsible for. She is a great runner, and before she started running with me, was never injured. Coincidence?

This morning, sweet marathon Gail came all the way to my side of town to run hills with me. Accustomed to running a nice, smooth Rails-to-Trails path, my sidewalks must seem like trail running. And as is so common in trail running, there was a spill. Split in the sidewalk = 1. Gail = 0. Road rash and bruises – abundant. This is a joyful, strong, perfectly healthy runner. No good reason for a hard fall…except, perhaps, the Cooler?

As I’m writing, I’m recognizing two things – first, that everybody eventually falls or gets hurt if they run enough; and second, that two runner friends getting injured doesn’t necessarily a trend make. But they are two of my best runner friends. I’m just glad that Gail (who may look a little worse for the wear tomorrow) didn’t do any physical damage that will get in the way of her half marathon goals in March! But I’m guessing that she won’t want me to pace her in those events.

Paranoia? Over-developed sense of Catholic guilt? Hmm.


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