Saturday, August 7, 2010

Feel the Fear

This morning, one of my greatest fears was realized.

OK, maybe that's a little bit dramatic.

This morning I woke up, ate my almond butter and banana oats, and prepared for a trail run. I headed to the Kanawha State Forest with my awesome Garmin (a birthday gift from Brad) and planned to do about 3.5 miles. I chose one of the flattest, most well-traveled trails in the forest, since I was alone, no one knew I was there, and I did not want to carry my phone (not that it would have reception there anyway). I love trail running more and more every time I do it. There's so much to look at and listen to in the woods, I don't even run with my ipod. I heard a lot of woodpeckers today!

I reached the end of the trail and start heading back, trucking along at my slow speed, enjoying nature and really, feeling that all was well in the universe.

And then it happened.

Every time I go hiking or trail running I worry about tripping and falling off a cliff. There are cliffs everywhere in West Virginia, and the trails are pretty gnarly; rooty and rocky, basically one tripping hazard after another.

Today was the day. I felt my toe clip the root and thought "Oh no, I'm going down." There was a fairly steep drop-off to my right, about 6 feet down into a creek bed full of boulders, and to my left, a super steep uphill. When I hit the ground, the only place for me to go would be to the right.

As I was falling, the following thoughts were going through my head:

"Come on, yoga balance, where are you now?"
"I'm going to fall onto those rocks and it's going to hurt."
"How far am I from the end of the trail? Will anyone find me if I can't walk?"
"Oh christ, are those mountain bikers approaching?"
"Shit, I hope it isn't anyone I know."
"What if I get hurt and can't run anymore?"
"Ow, ow, ouch, ow."

That last one was happening as I hit the ground and slid on my left hip, leg, and hand down the hill.

The two mountain bikers were now rushing to see if I was OK (luckily, I didn't know them). I was embarrassed and could feel my face turning red as I tried to assure them I was fine. I got up, assessed the situation, and realized that I really was fine. No blood, not even a scratch, which I thought was amazing but actually shows that I didn't fall as hard or slide as far as I felt like I did.

I climbed back up to the trail, thanked the bikers, and jogged off on my merry way. I escaped unscathed, except for a bruised ego and a slightly swollen palm.

I am now going to soothe my ego with lunch from Subway. It's the little things, you know.

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