Tuesday, January 03, 2006

A Not In The Dark

Happy New Year to me. I think not. As a form of pre-emtive strike into my already decided New Years Resolution, and in an effort to shock and awe my system for the physically challenging year ahead, I donned training shoes and took to the streets during the early evening of New Year's Eve.

The thought process behind this was, I believed, impeccable. I know what I'm like - I've had a life time to learn - and knew that I wouldn't be running on New Year's Day as, customarily, I feel too ill on 1st January day through the celebratory gluttony of too much tobacco and alcohol the previous evening. So to hit the ground running - so to speak - on the 31st was to guarantee that I'd take a new interest straight into the new year without the usual: "Ah well, it's the fourth of January and I've done nothing, so it's too late to change anything so I won't bother now."

It was a good thought. Positive thinking. Flawed though. Running in the dark isn't something anyone sensible would recommend to anyone. So many risks. From the inconvenience of squelching into an unseen odorous pavement artwork of dog shit, to being hit by the inswinging trailer of a curb hugging articulated lorry driver. And what about muggers. Joggers these days carry a teenager's Christmas stocking load of theivers delights: mobile phones, ipods, watches, car keys with information rich memory sticks dangling from them. And the dogs themselves - bounding around out of owner sight, free to savage an unwary loper.

But it was a pothole that did for me. Or more accurately, a slight shallowing in the path I was striding out on, one of a network of cycle and walk paths provided to enable residents in this area to get to the schools and to Tescos and to the doctor's surgery. These paths are punctuated by gates and staggered openings, presumably to check the speeds of cyclists and to provide marking points of junctions for those foolish enough to essay this labyrinth for cycling or walks, or... runs.

And it was while appoaching one of these gates, one of these woody junctions, drawing near the light provided to illuminate it, like a moth or looking like someone in a death dream, when I lost my footing. It was the speed checking, in the dark. It was in the slight, swerving motion to negotiate the opening, in the dark. It was in the slightly self-conscious-awkwardness, emerging from the unseen gloom into the visible light, in the dark. And that damn gritty shallowing, in the dark.

And a dark mooded hobble home and some rapidly changed plans about New Year's Eve leading to a medically risky concoction of pain killers, ice buckets, self-pity and alcohol.

Today should have been my first day back at work. Instead I'm sitting at home, foot elevated and mood elevating. And blogging for the first time in a while.

Poor you, Mike. Had a similar thing happen to me last year and it's not funny. Particularly with the add psychological edge of it being the beginning of the year. I take it you have one of them surgigal socks. Remember to take it off at night.
Thanks W. Surgical sock has been removed in favour of going naked. I didn't like the way it was sqeezing the swell, in near-empty toothpaste tube style. Seeing my foot gradually change colour is at least providing some entertainment for me and has filled the gap left my old lava lamp.
Tried that a few years ago, went jogging once, aggrivated an in-growing toe-nail and ended up limping for 3 months.
a: I think my jogging days are to be consigned to the bin as well. Limping's already pissing me off, and causing all kinds of aches and pains from other parts of my body. On the plus side though - exstensive single crutch use has developed my right tricep nicely. Not quite the fitness look I had in mind though.
Try swimming at the local hydro? They're well lit and no-impact... (I have a less than useful tendon in one knee from too much running ...)
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