Thursday, June 23, 2011

Hard fall on the Rock Creek Trail

Was out for another steamy run on the Rock Creek Trail in Maryland this morning.  It's thick and humid; the air seems to press your clothes, hot against your skin, until sweat envelops your body and apparel into one gooey mess.

Every get out of rhythm on a run? One time I got out of rhythm for an entire season. Couldn't set foot on a trail without taking a fall.  Today was a bad spot for me.  I banged my head on an overhanging tree appendage and events went downhill from there.

Was listening to a recent installment of Dirt Dawg's podcast.  He was doing a nice job of over-viewing his son's efforts at baseball and the dynamics of team sport at that age. I was almost to my turnaround point when my toe caught a root.  The ensuing violent snap of the body is like the crack at the end of a whip.  I jolted forward, took three big tripping steps, and caught myself.

That's the warning light to be careful, so I went about five minutes further, then turned back for home.  Even though I was jogging with caution, I caught the same foot on a stump at almost the same point in the trail.  Wham bam thank you ma'am I was down on the ground.  Dirt Dawg was still recounting his son's baseball program.  He was methodically talking when I tripped, took the pile-drive into the dirt, and as I took mental tally of my limbs.  Rather surreal to crash accompanied by an audio track.

I'm a glass is half full sort of guy, so instead of whining about the impact, I considered it a self-administered chiropractic adjustment to my wounded right side. It gets harder to fall and get back up as the years go by.  Not something I aspire to, but part of the trail game nonetheless.

Maybe that's the point of it after all.  I'm no longer a 7-year-old attempting to make the summer minor league team, but instead play in the major leagues of trail running. The years may be slipping by, but I'll never be too old to get a bit down and dirty a few times each season.

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