Run…


Dear Friends,

I laced up my shiny blue Addidas running shoes, fired up Endomondo and iTunes on my trusty iPhone 5 and headed out the door. The sun was still ablaze at 3pm here in Bangkok and the temperature must surely have been a million degrees.  Nonetheless it was time to run… maybe not because it was a sensible time to do so… but because I could :).

I ran down Soi 22 here in Lat Krabang, a neighborhood snuggled in-between the imposing might of Suvarnabhumi International Airport and the ever gentle hum of Thailand’s capital city Bangkok.  As I slowly walked toward my imaginary starting line President Obama’s Air Force One would be landing nearby soon enough.  No doubt his schedule far busier than mine :).

Endomondo barked that it was time to start and my legs started to wobble into a rhythm as I picked my way through the obstacles constantly ruining the smooth harmony of the Paragon Inn’s main approach from Lat Krabang road… a little mobile food wagon here and a few Soi Dogs there… and in one case what seriously looked like a swam guarding his little duck girlfriend.  iTunes found its groove and the tunes started to resonate around my head as my legs slowly warmed up.  Everything was opposed… the sun, the heat, my legs tired from a long week and maybe an ounce of will power that would rather be drinking a coconut and sitting in the pool :).

But resting is for the dead they say and so I pushed on.  I turned left onto Lat Krabang road, a bustling little four lane street with every manner of activity dotting it’s gentle sides.  The sidewalks were awash with vendors selling all manner of tasty looking treats… chicken on a stick, soups, vegetables, fruits… and some other stuff I couldn’t identify.  I weaved through the onlookers waiting for their Toyota pick-up truck taxi’s to take them here there and little school boys delighted to see a crazy westerner seriously running along the street in the scorching bath of the sun. 

Slowly I forgot that my legs were tired. I stopped wondering when my phone well tell me another kilometer had passed and how much further I had to go. I even think for a moment I forgot that it was hot… well until the sweat creeped under my sunglasses and nearly blinded me!  I forgot and I ran… from here to no where in particular…

I ran by a collection of gentleman hunkered over a motorcycle stripped to its bones and no doubt debating the best way to put it back together.  I ran by a fellow westerner eating something he really shouldn’t have been from a side-street vendor.  I bobbed and weaved through an impromptu street market that had been setup just past Klong Bua Ko (canal) and nearly fell down a man cover hole that had been conveniently removed.  I ran by maybe 20 chaps holding brightly colored flags waving them excitedly in front of gated living communities… no doubt to entice us to go and have a look.

Eventually I found a walking bridge over the busy Lat Krabang road and made my way across… up some stairs in a hurry… and probably a bit too fast down the other side.  The sun was absolutely baking me now but you know what… I couldn’t really fell it anymore.  Somewhere along the way a few good tunes had absolutely transformed the mojo powering me along my run.  Do you ever feel that?  That surge that seems to rise from somewhere inside that you didn’t even know was there.  Suddenly you are no longer tired but empowered like Popeye or Superman summoned to a great challenge.  I could feel my legs moving me along faster… my arms swinging along in rhythm to my legs… I was no longer in charge but a passenger riding the wave of adrenaline pumping into my veins.

I say to myself as I run faster that today I will not let my body fail… that today I will not falter in my path… that today my body will do all that ask and that just for these few moments… I am invincible!

My feet coordinate with the street zipping below my feet and at once I am moving along as if the run was perfectly scripted.  Up and over steps and left and right through the maze of bits and bobs dotting the side-walk.  I round the final bend on my run and slowly start to see little rain drops start to dot the sidewalk.  I look above and see an ominous black cloud rolling into view… no doubt intent on firing down it’s cargo to those of us still enjoying the sun.  There was no other choice… run faster dammit :)!

I charged along as the rain started to fall more freely now… not by accident but with resolute purpose.  This cloud was selling all its rain today and it was coming down FAST!  I splashed down Lat Krabang road and made a cut left to Soi 24.  As if somehow possible it started to rain harder… or was that the splashes firing up at me as my feet made little dents in the puddles along the route?  Eventually it was perfectly ridiculous to keep going and I stopped at a little street market.  Charging into their store front the three young ladies in front of me looked up startled… but seeing me sopping wet soon figured out why I had visited :).

I pulled out my iPhone and they instantly offered up some little plastic bags to keep it dry.  I thanked them and decided I couldn’t be a victim of the weather and was determined to carry on.  I gripped my phone in one hand, pushed my sunglasses up on my brow, looked up at the big nasty could above me and told it today it could do what it liked but I wasn’t giving up just yet.  My feet refound their rhythm… my own music filled my ears… and I splashed my way forward.

From here to there I charged along dancing in the rain… running from A to B and from what lay behind me to what lay ahead.  Strangely I found music of my own start to play in my mind.  I felt alive as the rain fell and splashed along my shoulders and back.  It was roughly 3:45pm on a Sunday in the middle of November, the rain was falling hard, my legs where on auto pilot and music written in my thoughts kept me company.  Just for a moment it was perfect.   I kept my eyes forward… and I ran…

 

Cheers,
Ben 

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4 Responses to “Run…”

  1. You have new shoes Popeye

  2. I could feel the adrenaline – and the rain! Run, Forest, Run!

  3. Excellent, very descriptive, I could actually feel the rain on my shoulders. When you write like that, you have all of us with you… Every step.
    Miss you Ben
    -Rob

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