Monday, April 9, 2012

Risk Aversive

On Good Friday, we woke up to a bright, crisp, sunshiny day. There was no schedule to keep and the only thing that needed to happen before dinner with my family was that I needed to run for about 40 minutes.

We lounged around, took our time getting up and, by about 9am, I was ready to head out the door.

The run went well. I easily kept my pace a few milliseconds under 6 min/k and trotted happily along - grateful for a Friday off, sunshine and pretty much everything in life.

Most routes, no matter how long, end the same way. The last two kilometres take me down the same road, over the same train tracks to the street that goes by the private school and ends at our house. I like that part of the run - it's familiar and it always takes me home.

Every once in a while, I have to wait at the tracks for a train to go by. I never mind. I can practically see my house at that point and waiting a few minutes never feels like anything other than an unplanned, and often welcome, break.

On Friday morning, as I approached the tracks, I saw the lights flashing.

And I saw the train...

...sitting immobile on the tracks.

Uh oh.

I got to the tracks and looked right - towards the station. I couldn't see the end of the train.

I looked left and, about 500m up, I could see the engine. And a man walking along the tracks wearing a safety vest.

I looked at the train. How easy would it be to hop over the connection between the cars?

The way I saw it, I had four options:

  • wait for the train to move
  • run back the way I just came and go home another way
  • climb between the train cars or crawl under the one that sat fairly high on its wheels
  • run along the tracks to the front of the train and then run back along the other side

Guess which option I picked?

I set off running down the tracks.

I caught up (and spooked) the maintenance guy. He told me to hurry up because, once he got to the engine, he was going to start the process of pulling the apparently dead train.

"Ok!" I yelled and carried on. I got to the front of the train and the conductor leaned out of the window. Better get off the tracks he said. "I know, I'm just running around your train so I can get home."

I scooted in front of train and headed back down the other side. This time though, there were no tracks to run down - just uneven grass and rocks. I slowed to a walk and hoofed the 500m back to where I started. As I approached the road, the train slowly started to move.

I popped out in front of all the waiting cars, smiled to myself as they probably wondered 'where the hell did she come from?', crossed the street and headed home.

I added one kilometre to my trip and had a wee adventure in the process. I'm sure it would have been easier to bend down and clamber under the railway car but my imagination is a little too active for that. I saw myself getting crushed by the train and I imagined everyone I knew trying to figure out what possessed sensible CĂ©line to crawl under a train?

What say you? Would YOU scramble under this unmoving train? 

1 comment:

  1. You did the right thing. I would never go under or through a stopped train. (I've heard enough horror stories.) I don't even like walking from one train car to another when the train is moving and I'm allowed.