We completed our 5 K. Hellfire Hill was only horrible and not vomit inducing this time. It was further evidence of my progress and improving stamina. The whole run seemed slightly easier. I think it was mainly due to the distraction of our engaging conversation. Our topics this time included our first rock concerts (The Police for me, Corey Hart for Danielle, and Howard Jones for Maggie), Danielle’s hysterical run-in with a raccoon at the compost heap, Maggie’s disastrous dating life, career goals, and finally, lessons learned at camp (acceptance, importance of personal hygiene, independence, advantages of a full night of sleep, how to live harmoniously with your roommate, that there is no need for the theme of an “all camp” to make any sense at all). The conversation provided an excellent diversion and was also enlightening.
Upon our return to camp we headed straight to the beach which appeared to be a scene from a mass casualty simulation with bodies lined up on the sand with campers shouting, “You! Call 911! I have a drowning victim!”, as swimmers were in the final phases of their badge testing by demonstrating resuscitation of drowning victims. We kicked our shoes off in the sand, tore our socks off, waltzed past the disaster scene with barely a sideways glance and headed straight to the dock where we dove in one after the other and swam out to the raft. We rested peacefully, outstretched in the sun and just listened to the hubbub of voices that arose from the beach.
Staring up into the blue sky, bobbing gently along the waves I tried to take a mental picture. Soon I would be back to the ICU where there would be the dinging of heart monitors, bellowing of ventilator alarms, and the constant din of a busy intensive care unit. It would be a far cry from this.
“Drink it in, Anne. Drink it in.” I advised myself.
“Ladies…I gotta split. Places to go and people to see. Thanks for another great run,” I told Danielle and Maggie as I sat up on my elbows. They both grunted their goodbyes.
I dove back into the water and swam in. I grabbed my socks, and stuffed my feet into my running shoes. I gave a thumbs up to the swim counsellors as they marched around with their clipboards, monitoring the testing. Dripping all the way, I headed straight to the empty camp office, grabbed the keys and ran down the stairs to the laundry room. I managed to get the now clean and fresh smelling sleeping bag, put it in the dryer and return the keys to the office without being detected. The only clue as to what I had been up to would be the muddy wet footprints I left behind me. Oops.