The endorphin hit parade

The winter, it lingers.

Six degrees at 6 a.m. Is it an omen, d’ye think?

Probably not. Just the pre-caffeination brain spinning its wheels like a 1996 F-150 with a bed full of firewood, half in the ditch on a snowy Colorado afternoon.

And yeah, I’ve been there.

Today’s high may be that in name only, so I’m thinking ixnay on the ike-bay. A short run seems sensible, if you will concede that running — with empty hands, anyway — can ever be sensible.

I don’t mind it, as long as I’m not breaking ankles. But running will never be my first choice if the temperature is 40° or better and there isn’t snow on the deck.

The Mitchell High School swim team in 1970, the year we went 11-0.

Last on my endorphin hit parade is swimming. I spent 10 years on swim teams, ages 8 to 18, and swam laps off and on afterward in Tucson, Pueblo, Denver, and Bibleburg, because I was a member of some gym that had a 25-meter pool and why not?

But I got tired of smelling like chemicals and wearing green eyebrows and feeling my hair freeze between the gym and the car every February. The hair freezing is no longer an issue, but the rest of it still applies. A friend of a similar vintage quips, “We all end up in the pool,” but I notice he ain’t there yet.

Plus there’s a weird sonic vibe in the pool area, like you’re stroking through a Louisiana Best Buy with a leaky roof during a hurricane. And you have to see other old dudes bareass in the shower, which should be part of any “Scared Straight” programs the schools are running these days.

“This is what prison looks like, kids.”

“Jesus Christ! I’ve shoplifted my last pack of smokes, honest!”

That right there is a kid who’ll take up running with empty hands. Unless he steals a bike first.

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9 Responses to “The endorphin hit parade”

  1. Shawn Says:

    I was a kid riding in a full hay truck back in about 1968 with my dad and Uncle when my uncle needed to suddenly pull over on the side of the road to take a leak. It was about November and the hay truck quickly sunk in the snow on the side of the road. We (I watched) had to unload a bunch of the hay into a pickup and shuttle it up to the ranch while my uncle drove the dozer down the road to eventually pull the hay truck out of the ditch. As a kid it was fun times.

    For your geographic interest, the location of said stuck hay truck was at about 39° 28′ 56.2″ N, 105° 22′ 17.38′ W

    • Shawn Says:

      Minor Correction: 39° 28′ 56.2″ N, 105° 22′ 17.38″ W. I forgot the second apostrophe on the 17.38.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      We got put in the ditch by some fool who was not interested in sharing the road in a tight corner. She left the scene and the laws had a stern conversation with her.

      Afterward I decided that F-150 was cursed and traded it in on a 1998 Toyota Tacoma. Later I put that truck into a ditch all by myself — so did the tow-truck driver who came to pull me out — and I traded the Toy for the ’05 Forester I have today.

      Weirdcliffe was hard on vehicles. Just ask Hal. He and his wife go through ’em the way I do ZIP codes.

  2. Shawn Says:

    Here’s to hoping that all of you experiencing temps in the 459 Rankine range are doing well and your heating systems don’t give up the ghost during the night. I’m out in the West in the balmy 40F to 50F range.

  3. Dave Watts Says:

    I believe we were at the same temps today, and again tonight here in Chicago-Land as ABQ did. We expect it. Duck City should not. I hope warmth is in your forcast.

    • Pat O’Brien Says:

      You are right Dave! I grew up, some would argue not, in Waukegan.
      After 41 years in SE Arizona my cold tolerance has gone to negative numbers. It is 23 in Sierra Vista right now, and I am not amused.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Eleven degrees here this morning. And I gotta admit, like Pat, I no longer tolerate cold very well. I used to give the hee, and also the haw, to anyone who raced cyclocross in tights. Now it’s all I can do not to wear ’em to bed, with wool socks and an Irish cable-knit sweater.

      But once I’m out in the cold I don’t mind it so much. Herself and I were on a run yesterday afternoon and I was all for adding a mile or two to our short loop. She reminded me that I am insane and she is not, adding that her feet were cold and she would happily break off a few popsicle toes kicking my ass if we didn’t head for home right that instant.

      Hal was riding his fat bike up to Weirdcliffe while Harrison did his daily run. You wanna talk crazy. …

  4. Michael Porter Says:

    What a classic photo. Even back then you were sporting facial hair

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