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Headphones or Not – Which Way is Best

The story of the guy getting hit by lightning while jogging inspired me to leave the headphones at home for tonight’s juggling run.  The odds of being struck by lightning are a bit unnerving.  Here’s how it went.

“You’re disgusting”, she said, as I walked through the condo dripping sweat laced rain drops on the wood floors. “And you smell too.” She was right. I was disgusting, but happy. Joggling makes me happy. Rain joggling is an added pleasure.

I put my smelly shoes in the dryer hoping to kill the newly established microbial culturesjuggling and running in the rain thriving and multiplying in the wet fabric. For 5 minutes the clanking noise echoed through our abode.  Thankfully, she stopped them and opted for a drenching with Fabreeze. “The dryers not doing anything anyway.” Again, she was right. She looked at me, confused yet unwillingly amused. Non-runners don’t always understand runners and non-jugglers don’t understand jugglers.

Jogglers baffle most everyone.

Rain joggling is downright confounding.

At the start of my run, rain clouds made me smile. Mother nature conspired to foil my joggling streak but I wouldn’t let her. Bring on the rain. Bring on the lightning.

When I clicked my watch and tossed my old Juggle Bug cube bags, the rain started. I picked up the pace. The rain fell soft and steady, dripping off the bill of my Underarmour baseball cap. As I cruised along the concrete sidewalk, patchy puddles reached their watery tentacles for my 190 mile-old Brooks GTS-7s. Wet shoes are slow shoes. And wet juggling bags are heavy.

But with every stride I felt elated. I threw my bags up extra high so they’d absorb more and more of the mid summer rain. Passed people looked in disbelief wondering, “Did I really just see a juggler in this rain?” One guy’s puzzled look turned to a smile as he exclaimed,”Great job!” and gave a thumbs up.

As I turned around at the intersection of Ashland and North Avenue, I saw lightning in the distance. A few seconds later, I heard a rumbling thunder reminiscent of my growling stomach at 11:30 am on a skipped breakfast morning. The image of the Canadian iPod wearer flashed in my mind. The pace quickened.

When I finished, 17:06 was frozen on my watch. My speediest outdoor joggle in weeks. Maybe it was an adrenaline burst sparked by the lightning laced sky, or the short distance on mile-weary legs. Or maybe it was the headphoneless ears that allowed for complete focus on the squishy, weathered bean bags and concrete pounding strides. No matter, fast feels good. Especially when you’re joggling.

This Post Has 7 Comments
  1. I’m assuming you’re referring to me as the “she” in your conversation. I think most would agree that dripping rain and sweat all over our freshly cleaned wood floors is rather disgusting. I know you can’t help it though. It’s not always easy living with a world class joggler…

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