I began training for the Manitoba Marathon’s Relay a few weeks ago. The plan was to keep my first outing low-key. After over-training for a marathon and injuring myself, I intended to keep the distance short; five to six kilometers tops.
After a few preliminary stretches that involved nearly kicking a hole in the wall, I was ready to run. I made a snap decision to leave the door unlocked, as I only expected to be gone 30-45 minutes and did not want to carry keys that would function as sandpaper to my legs.
The run itself went well, with the sunny day and explosion of spring vegetation serving as distractions from the deceptively cold temperature. The biggest hurdles in running are mental and the appearance of a warm day goes a long way in convincing the body it is warm. Cold reality only sets in when you stop running, providing a powerful motivation to keep on running.
Trouble arose however, when I returned to my house and found the door locked. Absent-minded as I may be, I distinctly recalled not locking the door and was thoroughly confused. My roommates were out of the house when I left so how could have this happen?
Did the wind somehow operate a bolt-action door?
Did an agitated youth (the kind I imagine sporting Hammer-time era parachute pants) find his way into my house and decide to lock me out while they helped themselves to my fridge and television?
All possibilities worth considering.
More likely however, one of my three roommates came home after I left and locked the door.
The solution to this was to pound on the door and shout in a tone typically reserved for law enforcement officers before performing a forced entry. My noise fell on deaf ears however and the house remained locked. I went to mash the doorbell, but realized that the button had long-since fallen out; the joys of a house with a rental price around the $300 mark.
At this point, I sat down and reviewed my options. I was locked out of my house, that much was certain. Alerting my roommates was not an option. Kicking down the door, while an easy task if the door’s quality matched the doorbell, would result in a voiding of my security deposit.
To top it all off, I had an appointment in an hour. Thankfully, I work well on deadlines!
At this point, my only option was to run to my roommate’s place of employment and hope that they were on-shift. This created a second problem, as my roommates worked equal distances from my house, but in opposite directions.
Gambling on the Earls restaurant situated to the west of my house based purely on my enjoyment of running that route, I took off. Bolting through suburbs and navigating the ever-changing elevations of a sidewalk that enjoys Winnipeg freeze-thaw cycle, I arrived at Earls in record time.
To my relief, my roommate was on shift and I quickly obtained his key before sprinting home in a mad dash to prepare for my appointment.
Reflecting on the whole incident later, I realized how the curve balls in life help us understand what we are truly capable of. I never planned to add 4km of sprinting on to my run. If I was asked that day if I could sprint 4km after a 6km run, I would have said no. Finding myself locked out however, I began performing a feat I thought impossible. It is said that necessity is the mother of invention. I would add that necessity is the mother of motivation as it is during these moments of desperation that our artificial limitations are stripped away and we discover what we are truly capable of.
Next time, I will to throw my keys in the river to brush up on my diving skills…or die trying.