Another thing that really makes me quite afraid is lightning. Especially when I’m outside. Actually, I don’t really mind lightning that much if I’m in my car or my house, although I know that lightning could hit my house, fry all my electronics and cause my house to burn down. I’ve read that one of the safest places you can be during a lightning storm is in your vehicle as it’s grounded. That may be an urban legend, but I like it, so I’m going with it. When I’m outside, though, I feel like a human lightning rod. It frightens me. Making it worse is that I live in the “Lightning Capital of the World”…Florida.
On average, more than 1500 people get hit by lightning each year in the Sunshine State (that’s a little ironic, isn’t it).
I don’t particularly want to be one of those people.
And such, I don’t typically exercise outside during thunderstorms.
Only a week or so ago I almost did.
I had gone out for a quick Friday afternoon ride…just a quick 20 mile out & back. As I went out, the prevailing winds picked up a little resulting in a crossing wind that was fairly challenging. The cool thing about this particular route is that I generally always have a head-wind or cross on the way out, but a nice tail-wind on the way back in. So…I didn’t really fret having to push hard during the first half of the ride.
As I turned around, I noticed that the sky ahead of me had turned ugly. Dark grey. Black almost.
The tail-wind that I expected didn’t materialize. Winds swirled. I heard my first rumble of thunder.
Less than a minute later, I saw my first bolt of lighting. It was a big bolt, and seemed close. Thunder came just a few seconds after I saw the flash.
I got a little nervous. I picked up my speed.
What started out as an easy ride suddenly turned into a sprint. Over the last five miles, I averaged close to 26 mph. Lightning crashed all around me. With each flash of lightning, adrenaline surged in my veins, pushing me harder.
I obviously didn’t get hit by lightning. Several bolts seemed close (of course, they could have not been that close). Almost as soon as I entered my garage, it started raining. Monsooning. Pouring cats and dogs.
While I likely needed to do an interval set, I sure didn’t like the motivating factor.