Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The pain and pleasure of the trails

The last 2 weeks I have been recovering from the most infuriating injury - a severe case of "gravel rash" following a lapse in concentration while out on a late afternoon run. My mind wandered, I was thinking about what to cook for dinner, and suddenly I caught my foot and tripped. My hands flew out and the next thing I knew, I had a huge hole in my palm thanks to a large piece of gravel that had embedded itself under the skin,  and 45 minutes of running to get back to my car! 

What proceeded was a night in the Emergency Department, antibiotics, a tetanus injection, severe pain as the piece of gravel was dug out, 4 days off from work, and hand therapy. I also had to explain to anyone who asked "well, I was out running..." and then listen to several jokes along the lines of "exercise can kill!"

It made me think of the "punishment" we put our bodies through by engaging in a sport that takes us off-road and onto more uncertain terrain. I often come home with scratches and cuts on my legs from running through uncleared trail, bruises from a fall, leech bites, damaged toe nails, and chafe. Nevertheless  most runners would not give up the joy of a good run out on the trails just to avoid these injuries. I wouldn't. And as I learnt in the last 2 weeks of rehab, while a hand injury may prevent you from working, it doesn't stop you from running!

X-Rays showing the piece of gravel stuck deep in my palm:


1 comment:

  1. Always looking for the positive in everything, I realised this winter that when I'm running on the trails in the sub-zero temperatures typical here, my thick padded winter gloves are perfect at cushioning such falls, and I don't know what I'm going to do come the spring. Such falls are a downside of trail running and are always a possibility. Unfortunately your fall won't be the last one.