How I Got a Stress Fracture

July 2005

Okay, okay!                                                                                                                             

Here's the story, with no embellishments.

Since Western States has a significant amount of downhill, I felt that I needed to train my legs. Tumamoc is a great place for that because it is close and there are no cars. I have had a steady diet of once a week with two repeats, but I figured that I needed more. So I planned some multiple nights. I did two 'tens' and one 'five'. On the last night of my ten Tumamocs, some strange things happened….

I was nearing the top on repeat number 5 or 6, when I thought that I saw something moving around up there. I didn't think much of it, but the next time up, I saw it again, but more. It was like shadows moving around that I just couldn't make out. This made me somewhat nervous, so I started humming 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' because it usually calms me down. Well, the next time up, it was even worse. There were numerous figures walking around as if for some purpose. I knew something was up. The strange thing was, though, that no one else seemed concerned. The other people walking the hill were acting as if nothing was wrong and that they noticed nothing. The next time up, I could see everything! There were dozens of figures moving around and they were setting up some kind of system with cables attached to all of the radio antennae up there. They were staging all of this out of a space ship. This was a typical flying saucer type that was hovering a few feet off of the ground and making absolutely no sound, except that I heard, coming from inside the spaceship, Classic Rock tunes. It was very faint, but I could hear numerous songs playing, all at the same time. Dark Side of the Moon, Hotel California, Stairway to Heaven, Sympathy for the Devil… this made no sense. The strangest thing, though, was that all of these guys looked like and were dressed up just like Elvis in a glittery suit. It was clear that no one else could see them. They would wait for each of us to pass before they would cross the road and continue their work. They could see us, but I was the only one who could see them!! How could this be? Why was I the only one who could see them?? Well, it came to me in a flash! Beta-endorphins!! I was building them up with each successive climb and I now had so much in me that I could see anything and everything. I tried to act normal and didn't say a thing to anybody. They probably would have thought I was nuts. And besides, I didn't know if these Elvis-guys were doing anything wrong anyway. So, on the next ascent, I was thinking about what to do, if anything. As I neared the top, I passed a woman walking with a set of headphones on. I could hear the song clearly. It was 'Crazy on You' by Heart. Listening to it distracted me from things at hand as most Classic Rock does, so I was lulled into a somewhat detached state of mind as I began to sing the words and run to the beat of the song. But when Nancy Wilson sang the words "Wild man's world is cryin' in pain, what you gonna do when everybody's insane"----------------! I immediately realized what these guys were up to! It was nothing less than takeover of the world!! They were planning on hooking up all of the radio stations to play Classic Rock ! Since it is now my generation that runs things, being bombarded with this music everywhere we went, tweny four hours a day, would render us incapable of functioning because we would have to sing the words, tap out the beat or just get caught up in memories and flashbacks. And the Elvises would simply walk in and take over. I had to do something!

I didn't have any time to plan, but I knew that I had to get away from this lady with the loud headphones. The song just changed to Donavan's 'Mellow Yellow'! What a great song, I thought….maybe I really didn't need to do anything at all. "Holy Cow", I said to myself, "this was going to be hard!" If I was going to save the world from takeover by a bunch of Elvis impersonators, I had to run uphill out of reach of this lady's music. I got to the top and just started yanking out cables and plugs.

The Elvises were obviously surprised that someone could not only see them, but was trying to stop them. They were scrambling all over the place, trying to get away before I could destroy all of their work. In minutes, they were all inside the flying saucer and I was trying to yank out the biggest cable when they started to fly away. I got the cable out of the radio towers, but it was still connected to the ship and I was still holding on. In seconds, I was way off of the ground and just before I let go, I thought "Dang! There goes Western". Well, as luck would have it, as I fell, my belt pack slid over one of the antennae rods and I was caught up twenty feet in the air. I was able to undo the belt and climb down, but I had to jump the last three feet. As I did so, I felt a twinge of pain in my right shin. No big deal, I thought. I went ahead and ran my tenth Tumamoc passing numerous people going up and down and incredulously, no one had seen what had just gone on.

Anyway, that's the story as I remember it. The upshot is that after an x-ray and bone scan I have been diagnosed with a stress fracture in my leg. I cannot run for six weeks. So as I sit here watching my legs wither and thinking about all of the things that I am missing out there…I have this to say: "Stay pumped up.. pumped up on beta-endorphins. And when you think that you've had enough, go for more." It's the only way that we can stay ahead of them. "Who are they?", you might ask. "They" are the guys in dark glasses, the talking heads, the republicrats and the democans, the guys in tight running shorts, the mountain lions, the Catholic priests, and the nuns!, the city council, the Killer Bees, the mountain bikers, the rattlesnakes, the Elvises, the guys in white jackets, The Monkees….

bye for now,

gj