Today I had a flashback.
Back in high school, Junior and Senior years, I had math classes for fifth period. Fifth period was always a dangerous time for me – long enough after lunch that food coma was starting to kick in, not close enough to the end of the day to have the bus as incentive to stay awake. Plus, I was good at math, and generally would work through the book in the first couple of months of class.
So, come springtime, I was bored out of my tree during fifth period.
The math classroom I’m thinking of was in a late 60’s vintage public school – low cinderblock buildings with lots of windows, and radiators along the wall. In early spring, the heat would still be running through the radiators to knock the chill off in the morning, but by afternoon, the windows would all be open to let in the breeze. With the windows came the sounds of birds playing, the sweet smell of freshly cut grass, and the coolness of the breeze.
Even better, I sat in the back row, right along the radiator. By fifth period, the sun was just beginning to come in through the window, at a shallow enough angle that I could lean back and have my whole desk in the clean light, leaving the rest of the room a dark nothing, the teacher drowned out by the hum of the radiator, and the distant rumble of the lawnmower trying to keep the honeysuckle from overrunning the schoolyard.
In other words, it was hardly my fault I’d spend most of the class dozing off, waking up only when called on, and irking the teacher to no end by being able to solve the problems on the board even when roused from REM sleep.
Today was one of those days at work. By about 3, there was no way I wasn’t going to leave early and get in a run. So, I did.
Waffled for a bit over where to go, and finally settled on the Cliff Walk. Parked at First Beach. Excellent choice – the student body of Salve Regina was out in force, with finals behind them or in progress. THe breeze was blowing, the birds were singing, and the sun beat down on my ears. Like yesterday, I set out sans anything battery powered, and ran.
Ran down to the ABC. Ran up to the Cliff Walk. Ran the cliff walk. Past Ruggles. Past the section where they’ve newly installed handrails, narrowing the path and taking away the tantalizing threat of being dashed on the rocks below (stupid lawyers). Ran the big rocks. Ran past the furthest I’d been before, and decided to run to the end.
Great choice. The miles just passed beneath my legs, and the parts where I had to scramble on glacier scoured rocks … well, they rocked.
Finally made it to the southernmost point of Acquidneck Island (Sorry – not quite the southernmost, but the farthest south on the peninsula with the spectacular mansions). The last mile before I headed back, there were college guys on rented bikes – looked like they were having a blast trying to go all singletrack on the hybrids. Proving again that the bike is an amazing machine, dependent largely on the rider.
The run back was interesting – Spent a decent time wondering if I were completely lost. Luckily, I wasn’t, and I rolled back to the car after about 7.5 miles.
Which is good – even with missing Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, I’m within spitting distance of 20 for the week. Didn’t swim or bike, but hey? Who needs the QuickieMart?
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