Braving the storm

This is a story from a few years ago, when I lived in Ohio.  The area where I lived was as flat as a pancake, and the trail I ran on almost every day was perfectly straight.  I could literally see for miles.  One morning, I was about four miles away from civilization, running to music on the portable radio that I carried.

Suddenly, the music was interrupted by an urgent message…there was a severe thunderstorm warning and the announcer urged everyone to seek shelter immediately!

I glanced left, glanced right, and thought, “Shoot, I am FOUR MILES from shelter!”  So I turned around and started sprinting back, but not five minutes had passed before the storm hit me with a crack of deafening thunder and an instantaneous blinding flash…right overhead.

It was raining so hard that I thought I would drown, water pouring across my face and filling my nose and mouth.  My clothes became leaden with the weight of the water, and I had to hang onto them to keep them from falling off (this was when I learned never to run in cotton).  But I was not about to stop running.

“Is that the best you got?!” I screamed into the heavens.

Just then there was a boom of thunder.  It sounded like the sky had split in half.  And simultaneously, a bolt of lightning struck a tree only a couple of meters from me.  Before my eyes, it lit up with a white-blue light filling every crack in the bark.  Then it fell to pieces.

Somewhat more sheepishly, I ran the whole way back to my dorm room, clinging to my clothes, slogging through flooded streets…and the storm stopped five minutes before I got home.

I waddled into my dorm room just as my roommate was getting up, rubbing her eyes sleepily.  “Hey, before you run, there’s a…storm…warning…” she trailed off as she stared at me wide-eyed and I glared back soggily, dripping.

We hung up my clothes and they filled three basins with water.

But the next day, I was out running on the same trail.  I heard a faint “shhhhh…” in the distance, so I shouted, “Oh no.  No you don’t!  Don’t you dare rain on me again!!!”

That’s when it began to hail.

Oh no you didn’t!  Oh HAIL no!!!

Stupid weather.

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