Monday, February 29, 2016

The Tale of the 5 @ 5: Part 1

Running has become a relatively recent new passion/hobby of mine. During my time in South Korea, I joined a running club, more so because a friend of mine semi-pressured me into it. However, I quickly fell in love with an activity that I had done everything in my power to avoid since junior high. I have since continued running here in Colombia. I have talked about my runs with the police chief on various occasions, but I have never really given a detailed account of what the morning laps around town really entail. The next series of posts will be devoted precisely to that. Each post will be told from the perspective of a different thing or person involved in the morning 5 @ 5 (5 KM @ 5 AM).

So without further ado, here is entry number one…

The darkness is comforting. Nestled amongst the tissue paper and walls of my box, I am suddenly awakened by a sudden jolt. Is today the day?? My journey takes me out into the front room. I see many of my other friends, just chilling on the shelves, trying their best to attract the next customer. The lid is removed and florescent light comes flooding in. I’m taken out for the first time since my arrival to the store. The sensation of laces being strung through my eyelets excites me. Finally, the moment I have been waiting for is here! At last, I’m going to my new home!

Tuesday morning

4:45 am
There goes that alarm again – must be about time to get up. I faintly hear the sound of footsteps making their way towards me. Yup, it is time. As I fly through the air, I know that another early morning journey through the pueblo is about to start. In goes the foot. Next, my tongue is adjusted and pulled tight. Finally, the laces are stretched snuggly, formed in perfect bows and secured with a double knot. Looks like we’re ready to go.

4:58 am
Quickly, the cool feeling of the linoleum is replaced by the newly laid tile. We must be outside. Suddenly, the tile vanishes and gravel and sand are encountered. I hope that this crunching sound doesn’t wake up the barking guardian of the house – not my ideal way to start the day. The ground slightly rises as we stop at the garage door. After a few seconds of no movement, we are off again. The gravel and sand have given way to pavement. We are finally breached the outer wall.

5:01 am
The terrain changes once again. Instead of the smooth paved roads, jagged little pieces of rock jab me. This is my least favorite part of the morning routine. Does he not realize how uncomfortable this is for me?? How am I supposed to support him when he treats me this poorly? Ah, good – we’re back on more comfortable ground. We’re changing directions, taking a right just in front of that sewer cover. Just a few more feet and we’ll be ready to go.

5:08 am
Here comes a familiar face. Over the course of the past few months, I’ve become well acquainted with the brand making its way towards me now. After a mandatory greeting, we are off once again, retracing the path we just forged no more than two minutes ago. All of the discomforts and comforts from the previous journey re-present themselves again.

5:14 am
The black, tarry pavement signifies that our weekly ritual is about to begin. I’m lifted off the ground for a few seconds and then placed back down. This action is repeated multiple times – it’s all just part of the ritual. Finally, after much anticipation, we’re off. The usual far-off “beep” helps clue me in that my rate of use is about to increase tremendously. As we settle into a rhythm, I do my best to stay on the course and provide the support needed.

5:26 am
1st lap is done. Despite a few elevation dips, the pace has remained the same. Guess all this practice is finally paying off. As we round the corner, signifying the end of lap #1, I feel a wet sensation seep through my sole. We were doing such a great job of avoiding those annoying puddles – oh well, looks like I’ll just have to dry off when we’re done.

5:32 am
Great! It looks like we have picked up an unwelcomed passenger. Stuck between my tread protrudes a piece of gravel, irregularly shaped and causing more problems than needed this early in the morning. Apparently we aren’t stopping to remove this little visitor. Did I mention that I despise passing through non-paved sections of the pueblo??

5:37 am
The end has finally come! The pace has slowed down immensely and that nasty little rock has finally been removed! Now my favorite part of the morning routine – the walk home! Soon, I’ll be resting back on my shelf, preparing myself to go through this process all over again the next day. 

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