Monday, November 24, 2008

Friendly fall

Date: Nov. 23
Mileage: 26.2
November mileage: 662.9

Today I went "snowshoeing" up the Mount Jumbo trail without ever actually strapping my snowshoes on. The snow was just too uneven - as much as thigh-deep out in the open, but barely covering the ground beneath the trees. By the time I reached the really steep pitches of the mountain, sinking up to my knees in snow was preventing backsliding much more effectively than the snowshoes could.

I took what must have been a rather spectacular fall on the way down. It's a shame no one else was around to see it. Back at elevations where there was only about a half-inch of snow on the ground, I managed to wedge my foot beneath a root protruding out of the dirt. It completely halted what at the time was a pretty fast descent, and sent my body tipping forward down a 60-degree slope. Many seconds seemed to pass as I dropped through dead space. I actually had time to think about pulling my arms to my chest and did so - thereby possibly avoiding a broken wrist. Memory has a way of rewriting these moments as long periods - the way entire lifetimes can pass before eyes in a flash - but I swear I went through the motions of denial, terror, and finally acceptance before I hit. Shoulder first, then chin, turning a complete cartwheel before landing on my back. I laid on the ground somewhat stunned for a few seconds before I realized that I didn't feel hurt at all. I didn't even really feel the shock of impact. I stood up to brush the slush and mud of my clothes, making sure nothing was broken, and wondering just how I came out of the fall unscathed. As I looked at the ground where my body had brushed away the thin layer of snow, I saw thick clumps of moss. The moss was covering another layer of spongy mulch. I knelt and pressed my hands against the soil. It was as soft as a pillow. Karma smiled on me today. It was a simple act of tripping, but it just as easily could have gone badly.

I remain a complete klutz on my feet. That's the main reason I'll never be a trail runner.