The Painful Price of Adventure

We never truly know where our travels will lead. Or what will happen when we get there. Usually it’s all good. But sometimes there’s a pesky, painful price of adventure that must be paid. For example, several years ago after we volunteered to do some tree-clearing in the mountains, an aspen tree fell on my head. Afterward, a girlfriend told me “Just stop being so darn outdoorsy. Go sit on the couch. Being outside will kill you!

But laying on the couch is not my style. So I continue doing things I enjoy that can be risky at times. Take this amazing run I had in the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains during September. There wasn’t a soul around, and after the first two miles, no cell service either.

A Surprise Bucket List Accomplishment

I never expected to run on a trail in the remote John Muir Wilderness. But this fortuitous event is yet another reason why we do what we do.

It was always a dream of mine to go backpacking in them thar mountains. But Jim and haven’t done that kind of adventure travel in a long time. On that day when I started running slogging up the mountain, I had no idea that the Hilton Creek Trail I was on would lead me to accomplish something I always wanted to do: walk into the JMT!

Bucket list item: check!

It was only a tiny slice of an immense wilderness, and only for a few hours on a crisp fall day. But it was enough to satisfy my curiosity about the magnificent location. Without cell service or any other people around, I didn’t want to up the ante and risk something happening to me. I headed back down with a spring in my step about the spontaneous discovery.

One week later I went for a routine 15-mile solo long run on a boring, flat road not far from that trail. And then this happened.

Ouch. The Painful Price of Adventure Happened. Again.

painful price of adventure arm injury from trail running
Ouch! What muscle is THIS?

One minute I was running along the road while listening to Star Talk in the early morning hours. The next I was kissing asphalt, laying in the road face down and trying to catch my breath. I have no idea how I tripped. But when I tried to save myself during the fall, I twisted my arm in such a way that I thought I dislocated my shoulder. After a minute I knew I didn’t, but it hurt like hell. And since we have a high deductible health insurance plan that we really cannot afford to use except in extreme circumstances, I got up. Then I shook it off, sucked up the pain, and finished my run. Hours later I made it back to the rig, downed a fistfull of ibuprophen and chased it with some some cannabis gummies. I didn’t drive the one hour to an ER or urgent care. That’s for real emergencies.

Three weeks later, I’m still paying the price of a painful, badly injured (but slowly recovering) right arm.

Meanwhile, my friend’s advice keeps echoing in my brain.

“Being outside will kill you.”

– My well-intentioned BFF

Well, if what she says is true, then it might not be the worst way to go. Don’t you agree?

Fall 2022 in the John Muir Wilderness of Eastern California

6 thoughts on “The Painful Price of Adventure”

  1. The state of healthcare in this country is just awful. The Affordable Care Act is a joke for anyone who is not poverty level. And I don’t know how they can afford it. I am on Medicare; my husband will be 61 in less than a month. His $710 a month premium comes with an $8,700 deductible. He is very health and fit and works out to stay that way. I hope nothing changes over four years. We grimace and bear it.

    • We are with you on that one Marie. The plans are terrible and the prices are insane. I see no end to the madness. Stay healthy out there! See you on the road.

  2. The older we get the less we bounce. I hope you keep doing what your doing for a long time to come. Maybe some day we all will meet up.

  3. Wow, that could gave been so much worse! I’m glad you were able to get yourself out even though you were injured.
    I’m also glad you are healing on your own and didn’t have a trip to the ER.


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