A Sharp Jolt

I’ve been having some vivid triathlon dreams lately. (Fodder for future posts, no doubt.) I think I was in the middle of having another one in the wee hours of Tuesday morning when I felt a sharp jolt. The bed shook. The building shook. And then another strong one. It was that eerie familiar wake-up call of an earthquake.

I lay there wondering if I was near the epicenter. Or if it happened far away and did a lot of damage somewhere. I thought of the poor people of Haiti and Chile. I thought of an email Keith, my trail patrol partner, sent me recently from a rescue worker who pontificated about how we were all taught to do the wrong thing during earthquakes. We shouldn’t get under furniture or stay in our cars. We should lay down in the fetal position beside large objects where there will be pockets of air to survive without being crushed.

I thought about how in the old days when I first moved out here, an earthquake automatically meant a call to my big sister down the street. And in more recent days, I would have logged on to the U.S. Geological Survey site to see how big it was and where it hit. Not this time. I rolled right over and went back to sleep to the sound of the rafters heaving like I was on a boat. I’d love to say that I’ve turned into a laid-back Californian, but that would be a lie. I was still groggy from the previous night’s master’s swim.

As it turned out, the epicenter was less than 15 miles away. A relatively mild 4.4 earthquake occurred at 4:04 a.m. I wonder if my next race number will have a bunch of 4’s.