It rained all last Monday night and I was curious as to whether or not Tuesday weather would lend itself to walking. As it turned out, the space between rain drops was large, so Sally and I “suited up” and trekked on down to Sailor Bar.
Because it had been raining, very few folks were out. Walking with Sally can present some special issues when other dogs are around, and don’t get me started on “off-leash” dogs, which may be the topic of another discussion. But today, solitude and quiet abounded. Complete serenity.
Tuesday is also a training day, so shortly after Sally and I returned, I readied to leave again, this time solo. My plan was to walk around the neighborhood, travel the road down to Sailor Bar again and walk along the river westward toward the village. I had my 10-pound backpack on and my new hiking boots that I am breaking in. I noticed, for this first time, that my pack seemed lighter, almost weightless. This is a sign that I am getting stronger…good news!
My walk along the larger avenue was pleasant in spite of the roar of cars “en commute.” The weather was cooperating—no rain in sight and, in fact, blue sky was peeking through the clouds. I turned the corner into the neighborhood, admiring yards with new blooms, feeling the breeze on my face. It was cool, but not too cool, and I was thinking about how nice some hot homemade chicken and rice soup would be for lunch when I got home. I was probably smiling. I was feeling great!
And then this happened:
It was in slow motion, as it often is. A step, a misplaced boot toe, a stumble, a stutter step in hopes of recovery–but not soon enough. And down—my knee, my hands, my chin, and ultimately my glasses and my cheek. Contact with the asphalt.
Raising my head, I saw my glasses broken on the street in front of me. This is not good, was my immediate thought, as I gathered up the pieces. A temple had detached and one lens was scratched. Both hands on the asphalt attempted to bring me to my feet, once, then twice…the backpack heavier now. Much heavier. A third attempt got me up and, as Sally would, I shook it off.
I felt dampness on my chin and used my handkerchief to dab the blood away, straightened my pack and started walking again. My phone app spoke: One mile, split pace: 19 minutes and 54 seconds. Wow, I thought, I was making pretty good time.
I felt a trickle run down my cheek and dabbed at that. Oh, another drip from another place. Ok, home we go to take a look.
Total walk with pack 1.5 miles.
The mirror showed me the damage, and it was not clear to me if I would need stitches. The doctor said to come in, so I did. Nothing hurt, adrenaline was still very much in play. I had a pretty good goose egg on my cheek under the cut, and my chin was slightly off center, but nothing was broken.
The folks at the doctor’s office were very kind. My cheek got glued back together; we chuckled about their advice that I not laugh for a couple of days (to avoid crinkling my cheek and disrupting the glue). I went to the grocery store to get some comfort food and headed home.
The next morning, I had a black eye, a Dermabond bandage on my cheek and a story. The picture shows where I tripped–there is no crack or mound or mountain or mole hill to trip on where I fell–just inattention, a dream of soup and an errant foot. Such is life…
Happily, the rest of the week went as scheduled…Sally and I walked regularly. I went on my scheduled long training walks: Thursday with my pack but with trail runners instead of boots; Saturday with my pack and boots. There have been no further walking accidents or incidents. This April Fool’s Day morning I am left with a small patch of Dermabond on my cheek—a testimony to how quickly things heal—and a full schedule of things to do.
March was eventful. I survived a fall with minimal injury, I logged over 100 miles of walking, and I gained some additional confidence. Life is good.