Monday, March 31, 2008

Spring Has Sprung, The Grass Has Riz...

I wonder when vacation is!

Actually, I don't wonder that at all... it's on April 19th. I'm counting down the days....

But in the meantime, I'm enjoying my favorite of all seasons. Spring. Though Spring does has its negatives (rain, cold and did I mention the rain and the cold?), the little happy surprises of spring make up for it (for me at least). That warm day after a blustery cold one, when I don't have to wear a jacket. The haze of green that begins to creep over all the tired gray, old trees, making them young and new again. The crocuses, daffodils and tulips peeking out of the freshly thawed ground. The forsythia, bursting in yellow like spots of sunshine scattered among the still monotone landscape.

Spring makes me a little crazy (is that what they call "spring fever"?). Every so often, in the spring I get the urge to go for a run. For some people, that might not be crazy at all. In fact, I hear there are people who run all year round, just for the fun of it (not because they're being chased). I am not one of those people. I may take a stroll, or even a brisk walk. If I ever got a bicycle, I might even ride it. But I do not run. Yet, there comes a tricky day in spring where the sun is shining and the breeze is warm and you can smell dirt and flowers and freshness in the air, when my poor brain is tricked into thinking that a good run is all that is needed to make that day perfect.

The first time this happened to me was my first year of college, in 1997. I was sitting in Lit Con I (I remember it perfectly) listening to Professor Cummings discuss the book we were reading, but secretly glancing out the window at the perfectness of the spring day outside. The tree outside the tall windows of Demerest were starting to bloom into the pink flowers that smell like Pez, and the snow that lingers so long in upstate NY was starting to truly melt away. It was the kind of day that, though it was still 40 degrees and pretty cold, the braver (or dumber) of the boys I went to school with would shed their winter socks and shoes and start traipsing about campus in the flip flops that had to be retired during the sub freezing temperatures of winter. But this 40 degree weather, this thaw, was as good as summer to them. As it turns out, frat boys are not the only ones who are susceptible to this spring fever, and on that day, during this class, gazing longingly out the window at the clear blue sky and listening to the sound of the melting snow, I began to make plans to go for a run in order to perfectly enjoy this first, beautiful day of spring.

After class I headed up the Hill to my room where I changed into a pair of shorts and a long sleeved t-shirt adorned with a counterfeit Calvin and Hobbes dancing in the rain. I threw my 80s mix tape into my walkman (hey- it was 1997) and headed out for my run. I made it down the Hill okay, and jogged up St. Clair Street, beginning to question the judgment of my run already. As I ran towards the lake, I began to remember what I know when I am in my right mind- that I really don't like to run. However, I didn't want to look dumb and turn around, running straight home after an 1/8 of a mile, so I continued on, deciding to run a respectable loop up St. Clair, down South Main, through Houghton House property, down Jay, down Pultney until I reached St. Clair again and back up the Hill to my home. Mapping it out now, it comes to a respectable 2.893 miles (thank you Google map pedometer). I reached the lake and was beginning to catch something of a second wind, when, right in front of Sigma Chi, the impossible happened (or the very possible happened). I fell.

Splat. Boom. At least 1 mile away from medical care, I fell face first onto the sidewalk. After gathering my walkman and battery from where they had scattered, I stood up and evaluated the situation. My knee was gross and bloody and I could barely limp along, much less continue my run (you may want to note here, that though I consistently refer to this as my run, it probably counts more as a leisurely jog). Not expecting to become maimed during my celebration of this glorious spring day, I did not have a good plan on how to stop my knee from continuing to bleed in a very non-spring day like way. I limped my way over to Houghton House, but instead of going in and possibly bumping into a person who would then see that I can't even do something as simple as go for a run without killing herself, I limp my way over to the Sunken Gardens and apply non-melted snow to my knee to numb it and stop the bleeding. I then limp my way home.

To this day I carry on my knee a large, grotesque scar as a warning to myself during those days when a run in the spring sunshine feels like a great plan. However, the siren call of that warm breeze is often stronger than the quarter sized scar on my knee and for one brief day, I am no longer Amy- non athlete, but I am one with nature. I am the wind; the hyperventilating, sweating, red wind with a big ugly scar on her knee.

1 comment:

Brianna said...

awesome post Amy -- you should find a way to share this with current/perspective HWS students.

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