Thursday, May 7, 2009

I Am Starting to Grow Gills!

I didn’t sleep really well last night, and eventually woke up from the alarm this morning, staggered into the bathroom, and flipped on the radio. “Today will mark the seventh day of rain in a row,” the meteorologist intoned. I’d heard the heavy showers during the night once again, and maybe that was one reason I didn't sleep well. I looked at myself in the mirror through bleary eyes. What in the world? Are those gills?

At work later, a co-worker said, “Man, you really cut yourself shaving today!” “Nope, those are just the start of some gills from all this rain,” I replied. He got a horrified look, said something about needing coffee, and disappeared. “Should have worn a turtleneck,” I thought. But you know, if I go for a triathlon next year, gills could really help. I can swim like a frog underwater, but pretty poorly on top of it. Maybe the rain will continue and these gills will keep growing and I can just swim 1,500 meters underwater. But by noon, the sun was out amid huge and ominous clouds, and I got in a quick two mile walk downtown. The James River was just roaring along, the color of weak coffee churning its way to the Chesapeake Bay a hundred miles away. And I noticed that the gills seem to be receding.

It’s just as well that the rain seems about over. My neighbors down the street, the Noah’s, started building a huge boat a few weeks ago. It is amazing to see it take shape. It is gigantic and like no boat I’ve ever seen. But somewhere, I feel like I saw a drawing of something similar. I can’t place it, though. A couple of days ago, the rain had slackened and I went for a run. As I ran by, I saw Mr. Noah working on the boat and complimented him on it. He smiled proudly. “I think it will be finished on time,” he said. “In time for what?” I asked. He got pretty evasive, said “Oh, you’ll see. You will see!”, grinned rather mysteriously, and disappeared into a big section of the boat divided into some kind of stalls.

Then this morning, as I drove by the Noah’s on the way to work, I saw the heads of two giraffes sticking up behind his house. Two chimpanzees were high in a poplar tree by the side of his house. A couple of Malaysian tapirs were lounging in a large, deep puddle in his front yard. A pair of Sumatran tigers rested nearby, the tapirs watching them nervously. The rain drummed steadily down. “Odd,” I thought. “I don’t remember seeing these kinds of animals in the neighborhood before.”

The rain has given me an excuse to slack off running, after training for so long for the half marathon. I need to find the time and not make excuses to skip running in the next week so. Exercise is an easy habit to get out of. It is so easy to come up with a valid excuse. Too busy. Too tired. Too rainy. Have plans. Need to clean the house. Might get attacked by a Sumatran tiger. I need to get up and run tomorrow before work. Just four miles would be great.

Whoops, I just heard the forecast – rain tonight into the morning. I’ll postpone that run tomorrow, sleep in an extra 45 minutes, and see if the gills start coming back again. I wonder if my neighbor needs help with his boat? The way the rain keeps coming, it just might come in handy.

1 comment:

TNTcoach Ken said...

Ha, just take the time off to rest that body for the swim season.