Beware the Ice Pack, a Post-Run Safety PSA


Yesterday Carly shared one of what I consider to be the more important posts in recent memory (a close second to Michael’s post the other day). Carly related the story of a woman running with headphones on who “turned left abruptly, and went directly into the path of an oncoming bicycle.”

The post highlights the potential danger of running or biking with headphones on. Increasingly we are (finally) talking about the issue of distracted driving. The fact is, distracted exercise is also an issue, and it is one that Larry has warned me about numerous times.

Well, along similar lines I want to offer a friendly warning, and I want to do so by relating a story about my friend … ummmm … “George”. George took up running some time ago. After his runs he has, at times, iced his knees or back to keep them from tightening up and becoming painful. About two weeks ago George came back from a run, put a large icepack behind his lower back on a chair and began to ice his back. He forgot the icepack was there until, sometime later, he reached back to find that he had literally frozen the lower third of his back. It seems George had, for the first and last time, forgotten to wrap the icepack in a towel so it wouldn’t come into direct contact with his back.

His back thawed out, but he had given himself a second degree burn along the entire lower third of his back.

Beware the Ice Pack, a Post-Run Safety PSA

whoa! right?!!

George imagined that he was the first idiot in history to do this but, when he went to Google he discovered that this is anything but the case. It turns out this is not nearly as uncommon as one might think.


Two weeks later my back umm … I mean… George’s back is finally healing, but let this be a warning to you — running with headphones is dangerous and can get you killed. Misusing an icepack? Well, that’s no picnic either.

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.