Just as we started to get back into our normal routine, a trip to the Emergency Room changed everything. My wife had tripped over the uneven sidewalk while pushing her grocery cart and landed awkwardly on her foot. We had plans to go to the movie Cats and decided it was still a good way to keep any weight off her injury, but predictably it began to swell and stiffen. By the end of the movie we were both in pain – me from the movie and her from the discomfort of a throbbing foot. She could no longer walk so we called for an Uber and went straight to the Emergency Room.

About once a decade I take her to the hospital. The first was the Y2K New Year after she cut herself badly trying to prepare our special crab-leg dinner – that was 20 years ago. Ironically, we struggled with ideas on how to make it memorable and this certainly will never be forgotten. The only other time was a kidney stone ten years ago, a painful affliction that we share. She’s reciprocated equally on ER visits for me over the course of our relationship. Fortunately, none of these situations was even close to life-threatening. Naturally, this most recent experience was just weeks after we increased the deductible on her insurance, so it will be costly once we get the bill. She’s not yet eligible for Medicare and COBRA is expensive in this retirement transition. Nothing was broken but she had x-rays and has to temporarily wear a boot. It could have been worse!

As I sat patiently waiting for her to be treated, my thoughts were focused on how fortunate I was to not be in there myself. Every day while running, there’s a real threat of falling, or worse yet being hit by a car or bike in the course of crossing over 50 busy intersections. I’m lucky to have run 4,038 consecutive days without a serious leg injury. As ambulances arrived with those facing much worse, I thought about my two business cohorts already lost this year. My boss from Joseph A. Banks in Austin recently passed, along with a fellow department head at WISH-TV in Indianapolis. Both were younger but faced weight issues, so I’m grateful to have the discipline to run every day in maintaining my good health. May they both rest in peace, and please no more emergencies in my life.