March 4, 2014 by scratchtype1
I never expected to end up sprawled out in a gutter not long after drinking one whole beer. You might think by looking at me that I’m probably not capable of holding a lot of drink and that’s true, but one beer? Surely he jests, one beer won’t knock him out that bad, will it?
And it didn’t either. The truth of what happened is that about a half hour after having consumed a beer before league night at a bowling alley, I went up on the approach and threw my first ball of the first game and when I put my left foot down to slide and roll the ball, my shoe caught a part of the floor that had lost slipperiness and the weight of the ball flung me around my unfortunately planted left foot. The ball flew off the fingers and bounced and clattered into one of the lane’s gutters. I tumbled forward and sprawled out onto my back after the area just below and to the side of my left knee smashed into the floor. I ended up on my back and the left shoulder in the lane’s right gutter.
Many thoughts scrambled through the head: Please tell me there were no video cameras on me and this won’t end up on Youtube. Owwrrrgh that hurts that hurts that hurts. Oh crap, what if I’ve fucked up my leg and I won’t be able to run. Owrrrgh that hurts. Oh god.
Soon enough, my brother had come up to me and inquired what happened and how did I feel. I groaned some and said I wasn’t sure, about what happened and about how I felt. I had hit flush upon that bony area on the side of the left leg and somewhat below the knee. It hurt. I then slowly and carefully pulled my upper body into a sitting position and then stood up gingerly upon both legs. The left one still hurt, but I judged it nothing too serious, more a bruising of the ego than the body.
Still it haunted me some overnight and through Thursday. A slight twinge persisted and I wondered if the act of running might reveal that something more substantial had occurred. It was with some trepidation that I got home Thursday and changed into running gear. So I went out to run across the tundra of Siberia, which is a lovely place this time of year. The cold and snow brings sharpness to the air and light, and you can’t help feel a sense of deep longing that the world might always be like this, that you might always feel like the skin of your face is about to freeze and that you are perhaps a wolf going out to hunt down some caribou for a meal.
Then you just might remember that you are still in southeastern Pennsylvania. So no to being a wolf about to hunt and no to being somewhere exotic like Siberia. But you still keep the cold and snow, so there’s that.
As it turned out, I had a few twinges from the area that got whacked the night before. But nothing terrible and I just ran things really easy. There weren’t any deep revelations and I grumbled some that it didn’t feel light and quick. Then I reminded myself that at least I hadn’t hurt anything so badly that I couldn’t be out there, that I couldn’t be out there to grumble at that cold, at that snow, at those few twinges. I was not humbled, I was not lifted either. I was a small speck of flotsam in a grand coldness of winter, I was a mote of dust and one which has only infrequently been caught in someone’s eye.
My story will never be one of great drama and unfortunately I probably lack the serious enough and talented enough imagination to create any ones of great drama. That’s where it left me last Thursday, a thin and inconsequential figure along the edges of roads and fields of snow, limping ever so slightly along a lackadaisical running gait, putting down a few more miles til I would go home and start a fire to warm the house.
ETA: Also just wanted to make note that I managed to log 101.3 miles of running in February. Training plan was very simple: run whatever days possible. I realize that’s not any great amount of miles compared to many runners, but seeing how it’s only the 4th time in my life I’ve broken the 100 mile mark for a month and it was a short one, I believe it reflects the sense of love I’ve developed towards running, as I ran days which I would have never done so in the past. Hopefully as winter finally gets driven out, I’ll be able run more and more often. Most of those miles were pretty easy and I’m not sure what shape it’s getting me in for a 5K race I want to do the first weekend of April. I might be able to work a bit on improving my speed over the next few weeks, but I won’t be able to get in top shape for sure. Oh well, it’s been the worst winter I’ve ever seen around here.