|Dr.J. on Running||
Man Made for RunningPublished April 29, 2002 in The Syracuse Post-Standard.
By Dr Kamal Jabbour, Contributing Writer
Since my youth, I developed a fascination with flying. My village overlooked an airport. I spent hours watching planes take off and land. I could identify the make and model of every plane from the sound of its engines.
So, when I finally took off on my first solo flight, I bungled the landing. It happened last winter. Running at full speed, I hit a patch of ice and found myself airborne. I flew parabolically for a few meters, and crashed hard against the pavement. My landing gear, formerly known as my left wrist, collapsed under my fuselage.
An X-ray revealed a fracture of the triquetrum, one of eight bones in the wrist. It earned me a hard yellow cast for two weeks. I did not ask my orthopedist if I could run, since I was not prepared for his answer. So, even before the cast dried, I returned to the road for a two-mile run.
I wrapped my arm in a plastic bag to keep out the shower water. However, I had no solution for the dirt and sweat from inside. Within days, my arm itched and smelled worse with every run. Even our dogs kept their distance from me.
A removable splint eventually replaced the cast. I wore the splint on my runs, but removed it during the shower. My wrist felt almost normal six weeks after my crash. I gradually retired the splint. My mileage rebounded. I ran on each of the first five days in April.
As I finished my run on the fifth day, I tripped on uneven trail. I took off for my second solo flight of the season, and crashed several meters away. This time, I damaged much more than my landing gear.
I lay motionless for several minutes. I felt intense pain in my triquetrum - now that I know where it is. My elbow was bleeding. My shoulder was scraped. My knee felt very painful. My hip was bruised. When I finally got up, with much help, I hobbled to the nearest bathroom. I washed my wounds, and iced my wrist and knee.
The morning after, my knee resembled a pineapple. My leg moved in unison like a monopod. My wrist retreated full-time into its splint. My running shoes hung idle in the mud room. My running streak ended. A bag of frozen peas on my knee and a cappuccino in my good hand, I turned to flight simulators for a fix.
Soon, I will return to flight training on the trails of Highland Forest.
Kamal Jabbour runs and writes on the hills of Pompey, New York. His RUNNING Column appears in The Syracuse Post-Standard on Mondays. Dr.J. created TrackMeets.com, webcasting live Every Lap of Every Race. He receives email at firstname.lastname@example.org.