like a ton of bricks

Yesterday morning I was about 20 minutes into my run at Thetis and I took a step over a rock and didn’t lift my foot up enough. The tip of my foot grazed the rock, and it was enough to trip me. I wasn’t able to right myself (I think because I was going downhill, but I’m not sure what actually happened) and I went down hard on my left side. You know how when you fall your instinct is to go down with hands and knees first? I don’t think I had time to do that…I just went down. Full left side contact with the (rocky) ground. Knee, thigh, elbow, shoulder, head and both hands all took damage. I think my knee and shoulder are the worst in terms of tenderness.

I stayed down for a few seconds assessing the damage. At the time I was acutely aware of the fact that I hit my head. Not because it hurt that much, but because it just seemed so odd to fall and not be able to protect my head. Then I was aware of the different parts that were hurting. I slowly got up and determined I could walk with little trouble, so I started making my way along the trail. About two minutes later (and this is where shock and adrenaline are amazing things), I decided that I wasn’t going to let a fall ruin my run, and I ran 10 more minutes back to the car. As I write this a day and a half later I have no idea how I managed that.

I drove home a bit concerned about how I was going to get the dirt out of all my cuts, and feeling really apprehensive about the shower that I would have to have. The shower was excruciating, and it made me nauseous. I was able to clean up most of the cuts, but there were two on my right hand that were chock full of dirt that I couldn’t get it out — it hurt too much. I tried again after the shower (with a nail brush of all things) and I almost puked. So, feeling like an idiot I went off to the clinic to get them cleaned up. By this point all shock had worn off and my whole left side felt like it had been pummelled.

The doctor at the clinic agreed that the dirt had to come out. He tried to loosen it up a bit by running my hand under water, and then he proceeded to take a gauze pad and scrub. Like you’d scrub burned food off a frying pan. I was sitting in a chair while he did the smaller of the two cuts. He kept asking me how I was (sweet man), and before he started on the bigger cut he insisted I lie down. I was thankful, as it was awful. But he got it all out, and I left the clinic with a fresh bandaid, a bright red palm, and two cuts that were stinging like the dickens.

I went to work which was a good distraction and then had a beer at lunch which I think helped with the pain a bit. I got home and popped some Ibuprofen. Greg is camping with Amy this weekend and I was very thankful to have just one child, and the more independent child at that. While I’m mobile and certainly able to walk, both leg and arm movement hurt. If I lie down for a while and then get up, there is some pretty intense pain in my knee as all the blood rushes back down to all the cuts. And the top of my shoulder is extremely tender. The lightest touch makes me cringe. Oh, and when I took my bandaids off this morning to change them, they all stuck to the cuts so I had to rip them off. I borrowed some Polysporin from my neighbour when I reapplied the bandaids, so hopefully that won’t happen again.

With the exception of a trip I had on a pipe while running in a school field (which I don’t really count because the pipe was totally hidden), I’ve never fallen when running. I do tend to not pick up my feet as much as I should, though, and based on this experience I think I will try to be a bit more aware of my footing. Because this is a real inconvenience. I’m in pain, I’m kind of grumpy, I’m very tired, and I don’t think I’m going to be able to do any exercise for at least a week.

I feel like a total dweeb for doing this to myself, and I feel old…this kind of fall 10 years ago wouldn’t have hurt me as much, I’m sure. But it could have been worse. It could have been the Friday before my bike race. I would not have been able to ride, which would have been extremely disappointing. And I could have hurt myself a whole lot more, especially if I’d cracked my head harder. But the experience has reminded me how vulnerable we are.