Provided by Arianne Brown
Arianne Brown runs on the mountain foothills near her home.
Three weeks after splitting my knee open while trail running, and a few days after the doctor removed the 22 stitches that were holding it together, I went out for my first official run. Under the suggestion of my doctor, I didn’t head for the dirt trails, but I laced up my road shoes and headed in the direction of the paved parkway. The pavement, I was told, would offer a smooth, even surface, as opposed to the uneven, rocky terrain that was the setting of my injury.
After a good stretch and warm-up walk down to the parkway, I took a deep breath and began my run. Instantly, I knew that this was not going to work. The constant pounding of the pavement caused a jolt that I could feel starting at my knee, then moving into my hip. And with each repetitive motion, the same pain manifested itself over and over.
After a few minutes of this, I stopped in the middle of the path, wondering what I was going to do. I thought about walking back home, but I knew that doing so would only make me feel worse. Then, I looked up to the nearby mountain foothills that I frequently run on, complete with uneven, rocky terrain and decided that I would just go for a hike.
The second I stepped on that dirt, I felt the frustration of my road run attempt melt away. The dirt, rocks and wildflowers that surrounding me made me feel that despite my inability to run, I would be OK.
As I hiked my way up the steep hill, the trail began to flatten out, opening up a long stretch of dirt that was nearly devoid of any rocks.
“I wonder if I can run on this,” I thought to myself.
Before I could answer my question, or even give…