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!
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.
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?