Jason Eichhorst Design and Photography
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Inspired By Injury

There was some water, snow and ice on the trail, so it’s hard to know what threw me off. I felt my right foot fold inward under my leg, I felt a pop, and my ankle bone hit the dirt. I let out a quick yipe. I was afraid to look down for a few seconds. I felt both hot and cold temps run up my leg and then a wave of nausea rolled over me. Weird how I was still running, well, sort of. It was more like a hobble. I figured the injury must not be too bad if I’m still able to move this well. Being that far up on the mountain, I was forced to go slow and enjoy the moment and place where I was. Trying to ignore the situation that I had propelled myself into. There was no panic, it was oddly refreshing. It had been a while that I had been up there without trying to run. I noticed some things I had never paid attention too. I noticed possible new routes on some of the nearby ridges and rocks. I questioned if they were within reason for scrambling? I noticed deer trails that shot off the main trail into distant woods and gullies. I’ve been up here hundreds of times, how could I have never noticed these before? Could they possibly lead toward other hidden meadows and secret rocky ridges?

Inspired by injury. The body has shut down. An appendage has flared up and needs to repair, but the mind is still on the search for progression. I was back at my car now. I relaxed and my body went from being in shock, into recovery. My foot swelled up. Throbbing ensued. A warm pain flooded over my foot and would return in waves. My mind wouldn’t let the pain stick to the point of being immobile. I painted a mental picture about the new areas I had noticed high on the ridges and other areas that I had overlooked. I had built up such an image of a detailed and picturesque routes that it was almost like a pain reliever itself. I didn’t have a feeling of needing to heal up quickly. I knew I needed the rest and that other parts of me needed to heal. I just didn’t know that the inspiration to get back out was going to hit me so fast. 

Sure, it’s hard to hold back now and just let my ankle heal. I’ve put it through a traumatic experience and to push it now would certainly mean problems further down the path. Taking the injury for what it is provides a great opportunity to reflect on daily occurrences that I would normally put aside, or brisk past recklessly in order to go for a run. I’m itching to get out there, but I’m also grateful for the time away from lacing the running shoes for a bit and focus on some newly presented tasks. I look forward to running everyday, still, it’s something that I’ve embodied so much that it feels awkward to not involve myself in daily, but with patience comes reward. 

Of course I didn’t think I would embrace the rest so easily. Taking it for what it is. I know old man winter is about to unveil it’s cold, white cloak. Which, in turn, means heaps of vertical on skis and hopefully allowing time for double days. I feel like I’m healing more than just an ankle right now. I believe it was a smaller problem towards healing something more substantial. More than just a body part. Perhaps my life? Mind? Work? Relationship? Who knows. But it feels good to rest, reflect and work on simply being inspired by living.