Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Most Embarrassing Experience Of My Life

After a few years of intense therapy I now feel comfortable sharing the most embarrassing experience of my life (right behind that time when I was nine years old doing school clothes shopping and a lady opened the door of my dressing room while I was standing there in my tighty whities).

Two years ago I was training for a 100 miler so I was out for a 30 mile run. I had gone eight miles when I passed through some long stretches of field after field. From past experience I knew the mosquitoes were horrible here, but I didn’t put bug spray on before the run because it was raining. (I put a poncho in my pack just in case it started to downpour.)

Unfortunately, by the time I reached the fields it had stopped raining. I started to feel a few mosquitoes on my legs.

I ran faster. “Maybe if I’m moving faster they won’t be able to catch me.” I thought.

But they did catch me. SWEET MERCY DID THEY EVER CATCH ME. I don’t know why, but mosquitoes think I am the finest thing since Justin Bieber. My wife and I can go running and she’ll get home with a mosquito bite. I’ll have fifty. (Literally.) And they swell up to the size of Junior Mints.  

So I realize that they are swarming all over my legs. I’m running like the dickens. Then a horrific thing happened: I looked behind me. I was surrounded by a cloud of mosquitoes. My neck and arms and back were covered. They were sucking my blood through my shirt.

I ran faster. I had this vision in my mind of someone coming across my bones on the side of the road. And a coroner doing an autopsy and then telling my family that I had Death By Mosquito. “Run, Cory! RUN!” said a voice in my brain.

By this point I was experiencing my first ever panic attack. I didn’t want to stop and pull out the phone in my hydration pack to call my wife because I knew if I stopped for even a split second I would get an extra 100 bites. Then I took off my head phones and that’s when the panic attack reached epic proportions. It sounded like a swarm of angry hornets. “AAAAAHHHHHH!” said that voice in my brain.

That was the tipping point. I stopped and got the phone out of my pack and called my wife. Our conversation went like this:

Me: “Help! I’m being attacked my mosquitoes!”
Mel: “Okay, I’m on my way.”
Me: “Please! Hurry!”
Mel: “Do you have your poncho?”
Me: “Yes, but that won’t help at all! It doesn’t cover my legs!”
Mel: “Sit down on the ground and put the poncho over you and I’ll bring you some bug spray.”

Her idea sounded just plain dumb but I wasn’t thinking clearly and had no other option, unless I wanted Death By Mosquito. So I pulled out the poncho, sat down on the side of the road, and covered myself in that thin coat of plastic.

And then I prayed harder than I’ve ever prayed. “Please, please Lord. Please don’t let a car drive by and see me sitting here.” And for 20 minutes my prayer was answered. But then my fear came to pass. I heard a car coming. “Please, please Lord. Please let that be my wife.”

But it wasn’t my wife. A car sped by and I was more than relieved that they didn’t stop and ask what in the world was going on. And then the car stopped and turned around! “AAAHHHH!” said that voice inside my head.

A lady with a shih tzu on her lap rolled down her window. “Are you…….okay?” “Yes, I’m fine.” I whimpered. “I’m getting eaten by mosquitoes so I’m just waiting for my wife to get here with some bug spray.” A concerned look flashed across her face and then she drove away. This is what my pathetic self looked like:

After 30 minutes my wife arrived and saw the most pathetic scene I’m sure her eyes have ever witnessed:

I had smeared blood on my arms and legs from swatting mosquitoes. And apparently some on my face.

I am so thankful that my wife rescued me. She is a true angel. And I’m so embarrassed that she had to see her husband wrapped up in a plastic bag sitting on the side of the road. I wouldn’t blame her if she thought of me as less of a man. Not only did those mosquitoes suck out my blood. They also sucked out some of my dignity.


  1. Ha! This is a great story and the photo made me laugh out loud because I would so do the same in an extreme mosquito situation. Once, while walking along the shore of a lake outside Denali National Park, an amazing swarm descended and I sprinted back toward the van with a veritable black cloud streaming behind me. I still wish I had a clock on me at the time because it was probably a world-record 100-meter dash. :P

  2. I'm sorry for laughing out loud at your misery. But that picture of you wrapped in plastic - well let's just say that it tickled my funny bone. I'm glad that the therapy has let you share this traumatic event. I've heard that sharing helps with the healing.

  3. This post made me laugh, in a good way though! There are never a shortage of embarassing moments on a run that's for sure. My daughter is like you with the mosquitoes, a magnet, and hers swell up too, so can realate.

  4. Your wife is a smart woman. The poncho/body bag was brilliant. I'm sorry it was traumatic but glad you are at the point where you can talk about it ;-)

  5. I will better prepare my pack for long distance runs, thank you for sharing. You gotta admit looking back that is a pretty funny image. Best to you and your amazing wife.

  6. Poor guy!!!! For the future....I just read smearing the inside skin of a banana on a bite will reduce itching and inflammation. Don't know if it works, but worth carrying around a banana and not throwing away the peel?

  7. Awesome that you have a reliable SAG wagon!

  8. I just had my most embarrassing moment while reading your story....I peed myself from laughter.

  9. Can. Not. Breathe. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA