Running up Balch Creek today I was surprised how low the water was – really just a trickle and some stagnant pools across the wide expanse of rocks. I can’t remember when it rained last. As I gained elevation on the trail I saw a group of kids playing on the rocks, their parents sitting alongside the trail.
In an instant the littlest one slipped on a wet rock and at full velocity from 3 feet up, his head connected with a rock on the creek bed. I slowed my run and stared at the parents…they didn’t move. The woman looked up at me and then back at the kids and I ran past listening to the little boy wail. After about 5 wtf’s (silently to myself), I realized that if he’s screaming that loudly, he probably wasn’t knocked unconscious.
I thought of the little boy who sits with his mom while she panhandles the stopped cars sitting idle on their way over the Hawthorne Bridge. He plays with an empty Gatorade bottle and some cardboard, sometimes he’s drawing. He’ll probably grow up to be a baron of industry, water trading or nanobots, and he’ll tell his story at college commencement speeches. How he sat drawing on a piece of cardboard by the side of the road while his mom begged for money so they could eat.
I haven’t had an off day in quite a while; today my number was up. Not sure if it was the heat, dinner last night or just being tired from yesterday’s speedwork. The high intensity work zaps me. It was the kind of run where you think about finding a nice spot of shade in the woods and curling up in the fetal position to take a nap. My stomach was wrecked, my legs were dead and a bug flew in my eye — that kind of run. When I got back to the office I chugged some coconut water from the kitchen (is there anything more pretentious?), inhaled a banana and ate pretzels and drank water at my desk for the rest of the day before riding home.