Thursday, September 13, 2012

20 Days

'Check this out!'

He pulls up his pant leg past his knee, revealing a massive lateral scar, running from the middle of his thigh down to his knee (at least 12 inches long). It's an injury from a soccer game about 4 years ago. Torn quadriceps.

'I passed out from the pain! My quad completely separated from my knee. It's never the same after an injury like that. Let's take a look at you. You got boxers on? Drop your pants.'


I've recently moved out to the Western Washington area, at the request of my employer, and haven't done much running lately. I'm still nursing something funky with my knee. While it has seemed to get slightly better by the day, it still isn't at a level where I can just run on it, for as long as I feel like. Not being able to run has really made me realize how much I miss the sport of ultra-running, and most vital, how happy it really makes me.

My place has a full view of the Puget Sound. The sunsets each night are quite remarkable, but I've yet to find myself thinking 'I could get used to this'. I will hold dear my fond memories of the trails along the South Hill bluffs, where years ago I started my trail running endeavors. I've reflected on successes and failures on those trails. Focused on the past, present, and future. I will forever have memories of exact portions of the trails engraved in my mind - where I took my first fall, recounted a specific day at work, ironed out relationship mistakes, had the best view of the sunset, and most importantly, where I got attacked by an angry mom turkey.

Work is busy. Meetings are scheduled, net profit and revenue discussed. It fills my day, but I don't feel like I'm 'there' yet. Whatever, or wherever, 'there' is. I find myself concerned about all the things that work is going to do to me, that I truly don't want. Dependent on salary and benefits. Planning out the ten days of vacation a year. Fried lunches and the inevitable sickness that accompanies a lifestyle of improper nutrition. Long hours spent being busy and doing things, just to say I've been 'busy doing things'. Not enough time for running, friends, or family. 

Not running results in heightened amounts of pondering. I wonder what people are doing that makes them happy? It's election season, and everyone seems to have a extremely strong opinion on every speech, policy, and candidate. I don't understand, and I think that feeling applies to many other 'things' in life. Cars, money, clothes, dresses, social status, mass parties - to varying degrees, I don't understand. Though, running miles in the woods is not probably understood by the vast majority of the populous, and yet it gives me a indescribable level of satisfaction and happiness. Do I really need to understand the 'why' behind other's passions? No. But, I guess it interests me.

I was able to volunteer at a local trail race for most of the day this past weekend. Helping with parking, timing, and general odds and ends resulted in an extremely satisfying experience. I got paid tremendously well, but not in the direct monetary sense. I got to talk to other runners, garnering knowledge of their running endeavors. I got unending amounts of smiles and thanks from participants. Food and water were present, and frequently provided by the race organizers. I've now got two more volunteer positions set up in October. Two more opportunities to give back, to that which I love so much.


My left leg is pushed, pulled, and twisted in various directions.

'It looks good. All this, your quad, all this comes down into this tiny tendon. Isn't our maker great? I mean, that's just amazing to think. You probably just tore about 5,000 of the 54 million fibers that make up your patellar tendon. I'd give it about three weeks completely off. If it's an issue after that, come back and see me.'

So here goes 20 days of push-ups, pull-ups, and ab work.


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