Running is a joy, a natural act performed in an environment I find comfortable and familiar. Yes, there’s the occasional snake or tick or dog or cars and such… but I mostly know, understand, and anticipate those possibilities.
Swimming is different.
Today’s run started with an easy mile to the beach. That’s where the first omen lay: a pair of women’s sandals, no owner in sight. In and of itself, that’s not disturbing; but as I removed my running shoes, I eyed the three vultures nibbling on the morning’s catch (Dead Fish a la Beach). They eyed me back. I ditched my shoes, and entered the water for a morning kilometer swim. I encountered nothing notable on the way out, and I executed my plan to push the pace for 5 minutes on the way back in, enjoying the familiar effort and the strong rhythm I’d found. Then I backed off to swim the remainder… and that’s when I touched it. Dead, slimy-scaly, thick, a good 15-18 inches long. A brother of the one on the beach? I can’t say. I do know that I made a sound, though not the girly shriek that might have erupted from me had this dead fish been a snake or worse. I would have run then, except running wasn’t a feasible or effective option. So, I swam in to shore, reunited with my shoes, and ran home. It was good to be back on terra firma. No fish drifted into me on the return mile home, and I felt strong, smooth. I’m a land creature, sure enough. Heck, by comparison to my water-based “friends,” the deer flies were welcome!
Sure, I’ll go back to face the aqueous world; but for now, those are only visits. May it be some time before I go to sleep with the fishes.
Happy running (and swimming, and walking, or whatever else you may choose to do), all!
-Daniel A. Shaye, D.C.
“The Runner Doc”
Dr. Daniel Shaye is a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician, Acupuncture Fellow, and clinic director of Performance Chiropractic. An accomplished runner, he is a USATF Level 1 Certified Running Coach.