The Rain Dancer

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
After a long and tiring run an unexpected event happens.

Submitted: June 09, 2013

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Submitted: June 09, 2013

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To the beat of the music, my feet touched the ground as I could feel the dust starting to collect on my legs.

“Breathe in, breathe out,” I said to myself.

The sweat started to pour down my face and was running down my neck, soaking my gray T-shirt as it stuck to my chest.

“Breathe in, breathe out,” I reminded myself again.

Ahead of me was an older woman walking slowly with white hair, a yellow shirt, and tan khaki shorts. Slowing down, she began to admire a bush on her right that had berries on it. After looking at them carefully for a moment, she began to taste them delicately, smiling after seeming to be satisfied with the taste. Unfortunately, if I wanted to stay at running speed, I would of had to go around her. And it looked like I had to do it very quickly.

“Pardon me,” I said politely while out of breath and unable to hear her response because of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers song “I Like Dirt” blasting into my ears.

After I moved around her, I thought to myself how I wanted to stop and taste those berries as well. But I couldn’t and the only thing I could taste at that moment was the salt in my sweat which was running down my forehand and onto my lips.

Looking off into the distance, I began to search for my last mile marker. This was where I would stop running and just walk back to my car at the end of my run.

“Where is it?” I asked myself when the marker wasn’t where I thought it would be.

Suddenly I felt my feet burning and the blisters beginning to form underneath my toes. With pain shooting up from my arms after they were in the jogging position for too long, I started to wonder if my whole body was falling apart. And with the humid weather making it even more difficult to breathe, I felt like a fish that was pulled out of the water and left on a shoreline somewhere.

At that moment, the only thing I wanted to do was to stop running, but I couldn’t. I didn’t want to let myself down again like I did the week before. I had to keep going until I saw that last mile marker.

“I can’t stop, I will not stop,” I said out loud with my teeth grinding against each other from the stress.

Then a cramp began to form on my left side. And to make matters worse, the music in my head phones began to cut out after the sweat from my hand ran into my headphone jack on my MP3 player.

But as I found myself ready to collapse, I started to feel a cool breeze run through my hair. Looking down onto the ground, I started to see drops of water fall onto the hot dusty path. It was at that moment I stopped paying attention to my music and could hear the wind blowing through the trees followed by feeling drops of cold water seeping through my shirt and cooling my sunburned skin.

But while the small random drops mystified me for a moment, they got bigger very quicker.

As I began to run faster, the drops started to come down so fast they didn’t feel like rain drops at all, but like millions of needles falling onto me simultaneously. But for some reason, it didn't hurt. And with the wind then blowing green leaves off of trees and across the trail, the rain began to run off the path and roll down hill.

Trying to keep my MP3 player dry by wiping it with my damp T-Shirt, I suddenly felt lighter as I ran down the trail.  However, to my surprise, I no longer felt any pain from running.

And with rain water mixed in with the sweat that was pouring down my face, my feet moved to the music in the background. This time it was to the theme song of Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show which somehow made it onto my MP3 player. This caused me to laugh as I remembered those early Tonight Shows when that young, slender, and energetic Johnny Carson in his early 30s would dance to his theme song for his audience while he pointed and made funny face gestures to his bandleader.

At the same time, I too felt I was dancing for an audience when I purposely splashed in puddles of water while a middle aged jogger sat on a bench and laughed as I danced like I was Gene Kelly preforming in film, “Singing in the Rain.”

And finally when I did reach that last mile marker, my headphones were off of my ears as I could feel a sensational feeling come over my entire body. With my head up in the sky as the rain continued to fall onto my face, I felt the presence of God as the rain washed the sweat out of my eyes and allowed me to see the sun which was starting to sneak through the rain clouds. Never before in my life did I go from feeling intense physical pain to suddenly experiencing such a physical sensation and spiritual renewal within a short frame of time. The only thing I hoped for was that the next time I went running and felt exhausted while looking for the last mile marker, I will indeed again find something else.


 


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