I was on mile six of a run that felt like it might go on for a few more. I had crossed over from one side of my neighborhood route to the other. Red Barchetta war roaring through my headphones and was abruptly interrupted by the ringing of my phone. I pushed the button that allowed me to take the call. "Hello?"
I was on Spring Break. I was out for a run on a Monday morning, with cares and responsibilities set to the side for the moment. I could not imagine who would be calling me when I was at peace with the world and looking forward to a week of uncomplicated life. "Is this David Caven?"
I took a breath, that might have been connected to a sigh, "This is David Caven." And the call was dropped. At this moment, I kept running. If they really wanted to talk to me, whoever it was would call me back. Still, I couldn't keep myself from pulling the phone from my pocket, even as I kept chugging along, and checked the number. The phone rang again.
"Is this David Caven?"
I knew the answer to that one, so I answered quickly to keep the conversation lively.
"This is Kaiser Permanente," and then I knew what I was going to be doing for my Spring Break. The results of a recent test suggested that I should get a colonoscopy. Was there a day or time that would work best for me?
I don't know how much you know about colonoscopies. Most of what I know is from the experiences of others. Most recently a friend from high school, and before that my wife. And men of my certain age are regularly corralled into this particular procedure. And I knew that there was never going to be a time that would be "best" for a colonoscopy aside from "never."
But there I was, on the Monday morning of my week off, and I went ahead and took the plunge. While I was running what would eventually be eleven miles, I selected the earliest possible appointment so that I could get. In hindsight I suspect that had they offered me a spot any earlier, I would have just changed direction one more time and run right across town to get the sedation and getting the probe. Get it over with, please.
Because at that moment I was feeling indestructible. I was fifty-eight years old, and I was still running. Not just across the street to avoid oncoming traffic. I was exercising, sweating, moving. You want to test me? Check out what's under my metaphorical hood? Bring it on. I made my appointment. I got it confirmed. I hung up.
I kept running.