In my early thirties I used to hop out of bed early and pound the streets.
That is to say, I would go for a run in the city where I lived (not actually pound the streets).
Being a contact lens wearer, for my early start I had a choice to make. Crow-bar my contact lenses into dry and sleepy eyes, wear glasses, or run (semi) blind.
I would often choose blindness.
There was something liberating about running through street that were so familiar yet reduced to a blur. It took the edge off the world. I could see enough to know where I was, and at that time in the morning near-blind interactions with other people were unlikely.
On one occasion, however, it went wrong.
I rounded a familiar corner on a familiar street, unaware that an unfamiliar branch of an unknown tree blocked my path. I don’t know where it had come from. I don’t know who put it there. I do know that I had no chance of spotting it and tripped headlong on to the asphalt.
It was a cold day.
I don’t know if you’ve ever scraped your bare and frozen skin against asphalt at high speed and under the weight of a falling man?
If you have, you’ll know pain.
Tears welled up. I gasped for breath – when your hands are cold, it REALLY does hurt! I sat there, my knees curled beneath my body, and pounded that asphalt in exasperation.
I literally pounded the streets.
I can’t say it helped much.