Editor's Note: The following is a guest column and does not reflect the views of Dumb Runner.
By Jim Bowie
For runners living in the Plains, Midwest, and Northeast, winters can be brutal. Below-freezing temperatures, unrelenting winds, snow, ice… These are the conditions we must train in, unless we want to submit to the “dreadmill.” (And who wants that! Right?)
Long runs in winter weather can be particularly rough. Especially when you’re doing them alone. That’s why I prefer to run with a partner.
Before you agree to join me for a long winter run, however, there’s something you should know right upfront: If we wind up lost in the middle of nowhere and things start to look grim, I will not hesitate to overpower you and open you up from chin to belly button, exposing your steaming innards, in order to survive.
Just so you know.
You ever see The Empire Strikes Back? You know the scene on Hoth, where Han discovers Luke delirious and semiconscious in a howling snowstorm, and uses Luke’s lightsaber to slice open Han’s recently collapsed Tauntaun, and the creature’s guts spill out? And then Han drags Luke over to the Tauntaun to keep him warm while he erects a shelter?
Like that, but with a knife.
Perhaps this shocks you. Well, I believe in a little thing called “survival of the fittest.” I make no apologies for that.
I also believe in honesty and transparency—hence this open letter. If you’re going to venture out with me in freezing conditions, you should know what you’re signing up for.
In other words: Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
That said, if this worst-case scenario does come to pass you’ll probably look stunned regardless. It’s hard not to, when your torso is being opened up like a garment bag before your very eyes. All the warnings in the world can’t prepare you for that!
Now, you might think you’ll see it coming. You might think, because I’m skinny and quiet and not that tall, that you’d be able to deflect my attack or overpower me or run away. You might even entertain notions of karate-chopping the knife out of my hand and using it against me.
Well, think again. I am quick as a cat and, when the adrenaline flows, ruthlessly fierce. I will sacrifice your life for mine literally without thinking. To paraphrase Mr. White from Reservoir Dogs: The choice between freezing to death with a casual acquaintance and disemboweling that same acquaintance to ensure my own survival ain’t no choice at all.
In short: I look out for number one, act on impulse, and play for keeps.
Of course, with GPS technology and whatnot, the odds of getting lost nowadays are slim. Assuming our batteries don’t die. Or we somehow lose the satellite signal. Or something else goes wrong.
Anyway, I’m doing 16 miles this Sunday. Let me know if you’re interested.