Monday, September 25, 2023

Chapter 16: To Cold To Run

 The Boy grew from an almost 5 foot 5ish kid to an almost 6 foot monster in a course of a little over a summer.  At the beginning of the summer he was 5 foot 5 or 6 and began eating like a horse, working hard and working out hard.  Being a fan of the Jack Lalanne show on TV he began using Lalanne's method of body building and exercise  to gain the fitness that every teenager desires.  The Boy began a routine of pushups, pullups, and various versions of sit ups in the morning and in the evening.  It was at this time that The Boy also began running. Road work is always the best way for a fighter to increase stamina and lung capacity.  The Boy was becoming addicted to the working out part of his life.  

The summer past and the work was hard.  Throwing 50 to 100 pound hay bales around in multitudes is good for the bod.  At the end of the summer The Boy was almost 6 feet tall and 200 pounds.  He was doing hundreds of push ups every day, and could do almost as many pull ups.  A thousand sit ups every morning helped build a strong trunk.  The Boy walked into the varsity center position on the Foot ball team, not many of his team mates could do a hundred pushups at a time.  The coach was impressed.  

The Football season melted into the Wrestling season and The Boy sweat down to 180 pounds to wrestle for the AAU, Amateur Athletic Union.   Because of his Family practices The Boy was becoming a world class Greco Roman Wrestler.  Greco Roman Wrestling is in many respects very much like competitive Judo or Jiujitsu.  Both, The Boy was intimately familiar with.   

The Winter was here and The Boy continued to run.  He would rise early in the morning head out the back door of the Bel Aire, down the road to the Highway.  At the Highway He would turn left and run toward town.  Each morning The Boy would add just a little more distance in his run then turn and run back to the Bel Aire.  Every morning after his run he would shower, shave, eat breakfast, and be reminded by The Dad to get to school on time.  Often He would catch a ride to school with The Dad, most the time he would drive himself.  He always arrived early enough at school to visit the weight room for an hour or so before school started.  Lift, pushups, pullups, sit-ups, shower, then classes began.  After school, practice, which meant rolling around the mat, running the halls, and building his repertoire of usable moves.    A good competitive wrestler only uses between 4 and 6 moves. 2 to 3 take downs and 2 to 3 pinning moves, but He gets very good at them.  The Boy was.

The winter of 1976 in northern Montana was harsh.  At times it was almost warm, at other times is was cold enough to keep everything still.  When the wind blows in the desert and it's 30 degrees below zero nothing alive will move until the sun warms the land.  The thing about that winter was the changes in temperature.  The body will get comfortable in almost fall temperatures, then the temp. will drop below zero, way below zero.  

The day before a morning run it was warm.  Snow was melting, and even birds could be seen in the trees.  It felt like a fall or spring Friday, the beginning of a fantastic weekend.  The Boy went to a movie, Logon's Run was playing at the Cotton wood in Havre. The Boy liked Science Fiction, and Logon's Run did not disappoint.  After the movie He drove home, fed the horses, milked Bessy #5, ate some dinner and went to bed.  

The alarm woke The Boy early and He crawled out of bed, put on his winter running gear, and headed out the door.  He forgot that this was Saturday or he would have stayed longer in bed, but the addicted habit kicked in.  He ran down the road to the Highway, it was cold, something in the air didn't feel right, but he kept running.  He took a left down the Highway and ran towards the Angus Ranch down the road.  He felt off, this was as cold as he ever remember feeling cold.  The Boy turned and began running his way back to the Bel Aire.  He had a headache and his vision was blurring.  "This is not good," he thought to himself.    

He arrived at the back porch of the Bel Aire and wiped his face.  He had a bloody nose and could not see well.  The door flew open and The Dad grabbed Him and pulled Him into the house.  He was going in and out of consciousness, and He could not see what was happening.  The Dad wrapped Him  in a wool blanket, put him in the back seat of the 1968 Chevy Impala Super Sport.  The Old Man was in the driver's seat and The Dad crawled into the back seat with The Boy.  The Old Man tested the engineering of the small block formula 409 in the Chevy and headed balls to the wall towards the Northern Montana Hospital in Havre.  Dr. Elliot the team Doc. was waiting for them when they arrived.  This was early enough in the morning that no Highway Patrol were on the road.  It took less than 15 minutes for The Old Man to drive that car an excess of 12 miles to the Hospital.  The Boy was unconscious when they arrived.    He was not breathing.

The Boy woke to the sound of Deep Purple playing, "Smoke On The Water." from a small tape deck that The Sister had brought to the Hospital.  He could not talk, there was a tube going down his throat.  The Sister told him that Dr. Elliot had to have him intubated so he could breath. She had been crying.  

The Dad, The Old Man, The Mom, Grandma, and Dr. Elliot all walked into the room at the same time.  The Boy thought to himself, "Who's dying?"  The Old Man looked down and him, smiled and pointed at him.  The Old Fart was always reading his thoughts.  

Dr. Elliot spoke, "Well sir, you are lucky.  You managed to frost bite your upper lungs.  Your body responded to protect itself and shut down before you died.  Your eyes will be fine, you had moisture freezing in them.  The next time look at the weather before you go running, it was 60 below zero last night. You'll stay here a few days and heal.  It'll be good for you."

The Old Man was shaking his head and laughing, The Dad patted him on the shoulder, The Mom kissed his forehead, The Grandma hugged him, and The Sister punched him hard in the arm, "No more running in the Dark." She said.  

Peace and Balance,


No comments:

Post a Comment