I lost my running mojo for a while. I didn’t mind because I also enjoy walking, it just takes longer to cover the same distance. Last week an article in Outside magazine about falling caught my eye because, in my small circle of friends and acquaintances, there were three serious falls last winter, one of which ended in death. It was an especially icy winter at home.
I don’t engage in most of the activities described, but I must walk on ice and enjoy trail running. The article includes the line, “if you trail run, you will fall”. So true. I proved it yesterday. I have fabulous trails I can access from home.
It was a slow motion, in my mind, fall and as I went down, I thought the words, if you run, you will fall. I just stay relaxed and rolled with it. A good philosophy in general. I run with my iPhone to listen to music and in case I fall and can’t get up. Luckily my leg took the brunt of the fall, my hands didn’t even get dirty, my wrists survived, and my iPhone played on.
This was after my most scary episode on the trail so perhaps I was distracted. I must have passed a ruffed grouse nest on my way out. Well on my return trip, the hen was pissed! She came after me, all puffed up, tail feathers spread, hissing, and beak ready to bite. I know she was only a foot tall but she scared the bejeezus out of me. I even let out a yelp, but there I was in the woods with noone to hear me, or did the trees hear me?
Perhaps I should have read this article in the Adirondack Almanac before heading out. It contains this information:
Perhaps the most remarkable display of parental courage for a creature of its size is seen in the hen ruffed grouse. This bird will aggressively confront and challenge any human that happens to come too close to its recently hatched chicks.
Don’t I know it. They call it an unforgettable wildlife experience. I was so ruffled myself I couldn’t even take a photo of the little chicks heading up the slope while she chased me a hundred yards down the path. Every time I stopped, she headed towards me.
Here is a photo from Wikimedia Commons someone else was brave enough to take. It captures the open beak ready to bite while making scary hissing noises.
It might be a while before I take to that trail again.