The streets in my neighborhood all slope down from the center of the road to either side. Basically, they look like wide, shallow upside down letter Vs. This is incredibly annoying to a runner who focuses on form and wears minimalist footwear such as myself, because the gentle, five to ten degree slope causes me to land and push off in an awkward, unnatural manner. This often causes discomfort and pain, and I am constantly afraid of developing a stress fracture because of the odd, unbalanced gait that I am forced to adopt. I think this gait is part of the reason for why I was feeling a little wear and tear and had to take the last three days off.
In order to counteract this, I usually zigzag wildly around the street, trying to find a “sweet spot” where I can run normally, or at least change to an area that temporarily doesn’t hurt.
Usually, I find myself gravitating towards the middle of the road. This is why I was running down the middle of the street tonight.
So, naturally, when a car turned down the street I was running on, I got over on the grass. I was running along happily and then I felt my foot hit something and my glasses went flying off and I flew forward and did a somersault that was undeniably boss despite the circumstances. I’ll give you my internal monologue from the immediate aftermath:
“SERIOUSLY! Who puts a rock there on the edge of their lawn? Out of all the possible places to put a rock on the entire Earth, that exact location is by far the stupidest. Plus, who puts rocks on their lawn, anyway? Rocks are stupid. If rocks could feel pain I would…”
I was shaken from my revenge fantasy by the guy in the car who had clearly engineered my spill with his nefarious plan of driving on the same street. He stopped next to me, and in a weird accent that I couldn’t quite place, he said
“Hey man, you ok? You went down pretty bad there!”
Me, in glum tone similar to a petulant teenager: “Yeah…I tripped over a rock there.”
“You sure you’re ok?”
Me, attempting to make an excuse “Yeah…it’s really freakin’…dark out?”
“You need to get a little flashlight or somethin,’ man!”
Me: “Hyehah” (Note: I actually made this exact sound).
As he drove off and I started walking, I assessed the damage. My toe kind of hurt, but when I did my cat-like somersault I landed on my knee and it kind of hurt. I decided to walk home and not push it by running another mile like I had planned. I did run the last 200 yards, though, and the knee is fine.
I got inside and took off my shoes.
You know how when you stub your toe, you’re overcome by this feeling that the poor little guy is just completely, utterly mangled and destroyed and blood is gonna be everywhere and your toenail is gonna be torn apart in a way that would make the dudes from CSI cringe and you just purposefully avoid looking at it for as long as you can because you don’t want to see but then when you finally do it’s completely fine and everything’s normal down there and you feel like a big idiot for worrying so much about it?
This was not one of those times. There was half-dollar sized spot of blood on my sock by the big toe. At this point, it was pretty cool. I was all like “Awwww yeah, warrior status, maaaaaaan!”
I bit the bullet, and peeled off my sock. The nail was bent back reaaaaallly bad (like, over an inch) and I could see all the blood and stuff underneath it and it was super gross. I did not take a picture of this because it was decidedly not cool and it would make you projectile vomit all over your computer and get all in the keyboard and make the keys not work and stuff.
Thankfully, the nail just kind of…went back to normal by itself (I don’t know how because I was very intent on not looking at it) and I don’t think the toe is broken. The knee is fine, so I’m ok.
So, the moral of the story is: the next time you’re going to do some landscaping in the yard, just don’t. Don’t landscape your yard. At all. That way, there’s nothing to trip over.
Don’t put rocks in stupid places,