The other day T and I were shopping at “The Good Food Store” when we (and when I say we, I mean T) saw my good friend Vickie who works there.
Well since I hadn’t seen Vickie for over a year, we got to reminiscing about some of our adventures on the bike trail where I used to do my long runs when I was training for my first marathon in 2007.
I told several stories about our training runs/bike rides in my book “Running Blind,” but this one particular adventure took place the summer after my first marathon.
I had called Vickie up and asked her if she wanted to ride her bike alongside me while I ran. She readily agreed since we had so much fun the year before.
The day started out cool, but by the time we were nearing the end of a 16 mile run/ride, we were both hot and my legs were sore!
Vickie suggested that we take this little trail off the main bike path in order to get to the creek that ran alongside it.
Well that sounded pretty darn refreshing to me, so I followed as Vickie led us farther and deeper into the thickly covered trail.
All of a sudden Vickie yells, “Oh My! Mosquitoes!!!”
Here I must digress for a moment.
I hate, I mean really, really, really, hate mosquitoes! When I could see, about the only thing that could get me to run in fear was the sight of mosquitoes.
But since I can’t really see them anymore, I have lost some of that primal fear. Don’t get me wrong, I still really, really, really hate them, as I get huge, monstrous welts when I get bitten.
And they itch like crazy, but I don’t seem to get quite as freaked out about them as I used to.
So back to the very hot and dense trail, that was apparently a breeding ground for the little blood sucking creeps!
Vickie is one of the most conscientious people I know when it comes to attending to me as a visually impaired friend. So even though she was freaking out at the bazillions of microscopic vampires buzzing around us, and she was running like the Wicked Witch from a bucket of water in order to get out of mosquito heaven, because she was still attending to my lack of sight, without breaking stride she yelled back at me, “Hold on to the bike seat! I’m getting us the heck out of here!”
And with that she took off at a dead run wailing and screaming, flapping and swinging her arms all over the place while trying to steer the bike and keep it upright, hoping against hope that I had grabbed hold so she wouldn’t have to venture back into the thicket to drag my welted carcass out of there.
Me in the mean time, I’m holding on to the bike for dear life, knowing that Vickie, even though she loves me, will probably not come back for me if I let go!
So after what seemed like hours of trauma, but was in reality only a few minutes, we emerged from the trail out onto the bike path, Vickie still running, and not stopping until we got to her truck a quarter of a mile away.
Relieved and laughing I said, “That was awful!”
Vickie was busy getting something out of her backpack in the truck. Before I knew what she was doing, still shaking, she put some kind of oil behind my ear.
I said, “What is this?”
Vickie said in a rattled voice, “It’s peppermint oil.”
Hmmm I thought, I never heard of peppermint oil as a mosquito repellent. So I asked her, “Is this to keep the mosquitoes away?”
“NO!” She said, still panic-stricken and breathless, “It’s to Calm us down!”
In all my years, I have never met another person who was more afraid of mosquitoes then I was. Yup, Vickie wins the award for most freaked out!
Needless to say we never did get to the creek that day to cool off.
How ‘bout it?
- Vision Runner