27 Days passed without running, without TRAILS. And it was during this time that I discovered how mentally weak I was (more so than I realized). And that made me sad. And it made angry, and touchy, and I felt like I was plummeting downward, like any mental strength that I thought I had was a façade. I felt my house of cards had collapsed.
I worked at healing my foot because I thought this was my only saving grace. But the foot got better, then it got worse. Part of the day I could walk, the other I could not. And then one day, I cried and cried and cried, and told myself that I had to buck up, that I needed to be strong whether or not I could hit the trails. After that, I began to rebound. I tried to smile more. I kept negativity off my lips and tried to push it out of my mind. I kept my self busy. I ate better. I kept my cups of coffee to one, and my glasses of wine to none. During this time, while limping about the grocery store parking lot, I turned to the man in the wheelchair behind me. His right leg was raised, and so I asked, “What did you do to your leg?”
He said, “Nothing. I fell off my bike, landed on my face and cracked my skull in three places. I was in a coma for six weeks.”
Yikes. What if he can never ride a bike again? After chatting for several minutes, I realized that he would do fine without the bike. Just like I would do fine without trails. Either way, I just had to “be.” “It is what it is,” as we always say in my home. (My husband brought that saying into our home. Another thing he has passed on is, “Embrace the suck!”)
HOWEVER, I do love the trails. And I’m aiming to get back to them, even if just for a “test drive.” Finally, I did that yesterday. After I dropped the boys off at school, I drove an hour up the mountain for a short run to Sugarloaf Peak. The mountains were cold, the skies full of voluminous clouds. I fell no less than five times – that’s right, at least five times. I tripped frequently. And once as I ran through the trees I said out loud, “Please Mr. Tree, don’t poke me in the head.” Then one of their branches promptly poked me in the head. By time my run was finished, my calves were bleeding and scratched up. By the time my run was finished, I also summited Sugarloaf Peak which was pretty dang fun, that kind of hellish fun. The climb to the peak was so steep, I fell back several feet more than once. Some parts, I needed to scramble on all fours. When I finally reached the summit, I saw the only two people I would see during the entire run. I waved to them as they rested below on a rock that’s named Cocktail Rock.
In all, I ran a little less than eight miles. Those last few miles were pretty dang miserable, and I needed to hike frequently. As usual, the tranquil loneliness, the rocky terrain, the enormous skies made everything well worth it. I love the trails.