Friday, December 19, 2008

Grudge match settled in wintery cage

The match was announced on Wednesday night giving me plenty of time to train and develop a game plan. I knew it would be a battle, one that would go at least 3 rounds. It was me versus Team Mother Nature and she was sending in one of her toughest fighters- The Blizzard.

The Blizzard has an obvious size advantage. It can attack from multiple directions and with unexpected force. The trick is to not be psyched out by the hype. Let the Blizzard use up its energy early during the prefight rituals and then attack.

Problem was the hype got to me and I was at a disadvantage. I kept worrying about the storm on Thursday night. It even screwed up my poker game. I would go into the battle with only 4 hours of sleep. Not good. But it had to be done. My game plan was to fight at least 3 rounds, more if necessary.

Round 1
I got out of bed at 5:30. As I stepped outside into the wintery cage, the Blizzard greeted me with a cold burst of wind to open up the fight. I took the blow and surveyed the battlefield. This will be tough but I can handle it.

I put the shovel down and went to work, blasting through the 10 inches of light snow that was on the sidewalk. I continued to land these body blows at a frentic pace. This storm was not going to get the best of me. I pushed hard, clearing the driveway before making my way to the corner. The Blizzard fought back with gusts of wind and snow into my face, but I was surviving. I made my way to the corner and down along the front walk. I was sweating pretty good. I feared getting gassed but got a second wind and cleaned off the porch. I worked my way back down the sidewalk to the back door just as the bell rang signalling the end of the first round. It was a close one but it looks like the judges gave the Blizzard the round 30-29. They say the inch that was on the ground in the area I started was the deciding factor.

I was exhausted. I went back inside and crashed, falling asleep until 8. Thankfully my corner gave me some help. The neighbor went by with his snowblower around 9, cleaning the sidewalk. At 10 I could see another 4 inches had fallen. Damn lake effect snow! I watched many a car try to navigate the street but they were getting stuck again and again. People, when they say don't try unless you absolutely need to they aren't kidding.

I was feeling pretty good heading into Round 2. I was determined to win the round.

Round 2
I was ready to go outside when I saw it. The Blizzard sucker punched me with the snow plow. I stood by in horror as I was 4 feet of snow deposited in my driveway. This bastard was fighting dirty and it was working. A solid blow as the round started. I was pinned to the ground and trying to fight back. I fought back, trying to get all the snow cleared out, but it was tough. I finally got back to my feet and backpedaled. I began to move around to find a weakness and develop a game plan. The snow at the end of the drive was about 3 feet high and 4 feet deep towards the street. Add in the width of the drive at about 10 feet. Ahead of me was a big task. So I decided to buy some time. I went and cleaned up the sidewalk. I was taking the Blizzard down. He had lost his steam and wasn't snowing anymore. The wind was dead. I had a chance to make up points. I quickly cleaned up what little snow was on the sidewalk and on the steps to the porch.

But the Blizzard had another surprise for me. The corner. When the plows came by they dumped a good amount of snow on the corner. It was when I was cleaning the corner that I noticed my conundrum. Plows had gone down the street 3 times, staying mainly in the center of the road. There was 3 feet from the corner to the cleared street that was still a couple feet of snow. I then looked by the driveway and the car that was buried by the curb. With the corner down I had one spot left to get. That mountain of snow by the driveway.

I had to shoot in on the storm to take it down. But I knew I wouldn't be able to win the fight this round. All the snow in front of the buried car would end up in my drive when the plow came by again. It might push part of the snow in my drive out of the way but no matter what happened, I would still have a pile to move. I had to make a decision. Shoot or back off and wait for Round 3. I decided to shoot.

I wanted to be able to get my truck out of the garage if needed. So I dove in, shovel moving forward, making a path for me to reach the street. I finally succeeded! I then had to widen it out about 6 feet to be able to navigate the truck out. I was sweating like a madman when I was finished but I got done just before the bell rang to end Round 2. I felt good knowing I won this round.

I was looking forward to Round 3. The Blizzard was just about defeated. It had one major punch to throw. I knew I wouldn't be able to dodge it but would have to absorb the shot and fight my way through the mountain of snow one more time. The problem was not knowing when that punch would come.

Round 3
The punch came in slowly. I was able to dodge most of it as the pile of snow didn't get totally dumped into my drive. From there I shot in, taking the small pile down quickly and rained the snow with shovel and shovel, digging away until the drive was clear. I felt so good I went to the corner and cleared out a path for people to walk through. I was feeling triumphant as I surveyed my opponent. It was like I opened a gash over an eye and the blood was streaming through and down its face. I went for the kill and did some minor clean up but the bell rang ending the round. I took a look at the street before I went to my corner. There is a chance a plow comes by one more time and tries to get closer to the curb. They are about a foot off and we could use the room. As I walked into the house a bit of snow fell. Maybe the Blizzard is finished.

Will it answer the bell for a round 4? Or will I be able to raise my hand in victory?

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