Yep, it happened. And it happened much, much earlier than I had anticipated. Actually I was hoping it wouldn’t happen at all and I could get through all of training without it happening. But it did and there’s no going back now.
First let me explain that today it is the 9th of December. Winter hasn’t even officially begun yet. And already we are on our 3rd “named” snowstorm (thank you WLUK for feeling the need to name our snowstorms) and we are WAY, WAY ahead of schedule as far as actual snow accumulation goes. We are on the way to having ANOTHER record setting snowfall season. So far we are close to being 20 some inches above the average for December snowfall. AND we are on the record books as coming in 12th as far as most snow for ANY December. This goes back about a century worth of recording snowfalls and we’re only 9 days into the damn month. Not a real good chance we won’t come out of this month with a bad back and a broken shovel!
So, I was out (with my husband) for what should have been an easy and short run around the neighborhood. No biggie, in and out was what I was thinking. Well, that’s not what I got. And yes, I know that it snowed today and that the roads and sidewalks would be snow covered but I didn’t realize it was going to be this bad. I didn’t realize I would not in actuality be running, I would be “high stepping as if I was a Free Safety doing the “tires” during training camp. I was also climbing over mounds of snow that left me wondering if I was a runner or a climber. But this confusion and exhaustion is what led me to what happened. Let me explain…
It’s been a busy month at work and at home. End of the year and the holidays always are. I’m a little stressed about the upcoming training starting in a month because I don’t think I’m in shape for it and I am sick to death thinking we’re going to have this amount of snow all season and that I’ll have to run 500 miles in snow. So, all of this had put my mind in a “jumble” before I even stepped out the door. Then add to that the unbelievably horribly NON-SHOVELED sidewalks. I no lie, was high stepping through snow about 12 inches deep for approximately half a block. Needless to say, I WAS NOT HAPPY.
So, that’s when it happened. I went in search of the responsible party. And it just so happened that at this point of the run, I was in front of businesses and not residential homes. So, the “strip mall” that failed to shovel or plow the sidewalk had only 1 business that was still open at this time and it was a liquer store (I’m sure there’s some irony to that) so they were the lucky ones that got a visit from me. And yep, I went in looking for information and/or looking for who was supposed to be clearing my way. Unfortunately, what I found was a minimum wage clerk really wasn’t helpful. All I was able to ascertain was that it was a guy who owned the property, not a company and that the clerk knows that they have a company that clears the parking lot and the sidewalks that run north and south but he’s never seen anyone clear the east and west walks. I didn’t yell, I didn’t curse (and believe me, no one is more surprised by this than me). All I did was say that I (actually I said “we” as Brian was standing at the door trying to look like we weren’t together yet the head to toe running gear and sweat coming off of him was a dead giveaway) was in training and will be running past through a lot and really need the sidewalks clear. Basically the guy at the counter could have cared less. I think he forgot about me the minute I walked out the door and he was able to get back to his TV and cigarette. But it sure made me feel better. I figured I couldn’t complain to you folks (all 3 of you) all winter without doing something about it this year. So, hopefully through “good vibes” or if the clerk takes pity on me and passes my message on to the correct person… maybe the walks will be cleared and I won’t have to worry about perfecting my high stepping skills and can go back to concentrating on the basics… trying not to fall down on the ice in front of passing cars… you know… the basics! So, the neighborhood liquor store (damn, I’m going to have to find myself another liquor store because I sure can’t go back into this one) was my first but I’m guessing it won’t be the last. I have a feeling the Culvers, laundromat and dance studio will be getting a friendly visit from their non-friendly neighborhood runner. At least I don’t patronize any of those businesses so if I alienate them, it won’t have be hard to avoid them.
So, what’s the moral of the story? Please, please people… shovel. Pass this on to anyone that you know that doesn’t shovel or if you work for a company that doesn’t clear the way… please do something about it. (Side note… and in no way is this email directed at my fabulous and fun loving neighbors on Nicolet who DO shovel and/or snow blow. )
Until next time… gotta run.