I rode my bike 4.5 miles this morning in order to meet my running group. At 5:30 am we started our two mile warm up run in the park along the Yarkon River. We ran at a very tired pace, chatting and complaining about the hour, the heat and the humidity. After half a mile we noticed one of the morning cyclists standing near the river’s edge and talking – seriously- on his cell phone. We continued running for another half a mile before turning back. When we passed the cyclist again, we slowed down. He was still there waiting. His bike was on the ground. It looked like something was wrong. Next to him we saw a tripod and a camera bag, but there was no photographer. We looked down into the water and saw – between the rocks and shrub – a floating body, dressed in a blue plaid shirt.
I don’t really know how I felt at that moment. It was so unexpected and surreal it took a little time to process. Help was on the way (the cyclist had called the police) and there was nothing for us to do, so we continued with our run.
We talked about it a bit as we ran, analyzing the scene as if we had just seen it in a movie. Then we split up into small groups according to speed and program. I went off with one of the guys from my group to run 1.25 mile intervals.
The conversation continued to other things with sprint induced silences during the intervals but somehow when the conversation resumed we kept on coming back to what we had seen in the river. I felt very disconnected finding it easier to play policeman and think of all the possible causes (from accidental death to a set up murder) than to really begin to comprehend and feel the sadness of a death.
As I imagined the photographer losing his footing on the rocks and slipping into the river, I felt a scratching feeling on my side. It didn’t hurt, but it was bothersome. After a few minutes I decided to take a look.
I pulled my shirt up and saw that my pump insertion set was out, hanging on by the last little bit of glue that hadn’t melted away from the huge amount of sweat coming off my body. (Running shirtless may help keep the tubing in but I don’t feel comfortable enough with my body – with or without a pump. And vanity aside, given the sun in Tel Aviv, it’s a good idea to stay covered.) We had just started our second interval (5 miles into the run) when I realized what had happened. We stopped. I suspended the pump, pulled the rest of the sticker off my body and took the insulin reservoir out of the pump. We took off running again and a half mile down the road I threw the tubing and insulin into a garbage can. Normally this would have upset me somewhat, but this morning it seemed insignificant and I just kept on going, disconnected.