On Sunday October 30, undeclared first-year Ian Downing woke up uncharacteristically early with only one thought on his mind: to jog around the lagoon.
Given that the fall months are bringing in the usual coastal fog, Downing’s motivation to lace up his old high-school track shoes and go on a morning run is all the more exotic.
“My friends and I tossed back a few shots last night and I tend to wake up kinda early after a night of drinking,” Downing smiled passively, “Anyway, DLG doesn’t open for brunch until 11am on Sundays so I figured, why not?”
Downing’s roommate, Nick Howard, still doesn’t understand the deranged reasoning and real-life implications of his friend’s decision.
“I heard him get up and put on his sneakers, and I didn’t know what to think,” said Howard, shuddering, “All I could do was stare, and I swear to God all he did was stare back. I tell you, it was like he was challenging me.”
Reportedly, Downing had frequently taken notice of the lagoon since moving to Santa Barbara, but had yet to explore it. Furthermore, eyewitnesses note that he had referred to the lagoon as “a pretty cool place” several times within the past month.
Sources say that on Downing’s 20-minute jog around the lagoon, he even occasionally stopped to look at fauna and poke around the bluffs.
“I was walking back from I.V., feeling exhausted. And then I see him charging down the path, like a vision,” revealed Rebecca Powers, a first-year Sociology major. “He had ear buds in, completely absorbed in his own music. And I even think I saw a little sweat glittering off his temples. It was…I just don’t know anymore. It was something.”
Still, Downing continues to treat the event with a decided nonchalance.
“The lagoon doesn’t smell that bad, and I thought it might be really pleasant on cold mornings like today. You know, when not too many people are around,” he explained, “It’s kinda nice to just listen to some Mumford and Sons and zone out for a half hour or so.”
After approximately 40 minutes of interview, Downing refused to comment and excused himself, claiming that he wanted to go try out ping-pong in his dormitory’s rec room.
The event has certainly caused a stir among the students and staff of Anacapa residents’ hall. Tyler Nelson, Resident Director of the dorm complex, says that Downing’s free spirited ways and morning jogs around the lagoon have the potential to rock the entire system on its side.
“I don’t know if he’s a poet, or a madman, or both,” Nelson exclaimed, smacking his fist against his fold-up office desk, “But God damn it, I respect him!”