I yelled out with complete disregard for the eardrums of those around me. “Aaaaggghhh!!!” I’m not sure why I yelled; in fact, I’m certain it was my body taking over because the pilot (me) had failed. I blurted out profanities, at least, once I was able to catch my breath after the initial shock. I continued to lower my body; the waves I was causing in the water fought back and again had me writhing in pain.
I struggled to take another breath, feeling my lungs collapsing. All that came out was another giant roar. My eyes closed and I wondered if that would be my last breath, if my eyes would ever see the light of day again. My teeth began to chatter but the chattering served as a cadence to calm my breathing. I quickly realized shorter shallow breaths were possibly despite my body’s pleas for oxygen to ease the pain. I managed to open my eyes, colors had completely left me and tunnel vision seemed to be closing in tighter. I could see my legs but realized I no longer felt pain. Was I now an urban legend left in a bathtub to be preserved until the medical personnel arrived to fill me in on the gaps in memory.
I composed myself and heard the door swing open. “Daddy, are you OK?” There he was, my personal “medical personnel”, snapping me back into reality. I was still in the tub freezing but it wasn’t that bad and soon all the lactic acid, systematically accumulated over this morning’s 20-mile marathon training run would be flushed out of my legs, erasing any thoughts of quitting that hover over you on those runs. He laughed and called me funny, waiting to hear the story I’ve concocted this time about my “tragic accident.” This storytime ritual has become instrumental in getting through the worst part of marathon training–the ice bath.
I love the endorphins that will certainly keep me on high for the weekend. Perfect for watching the clash between titans tomorrow in a frozen landscape in Texas. Not to mention I won’t feel half as bad now devouring the tailgating food I plan to demolish tomorrow.