This morning I headed out for a run. It was almost ideal running weather, 55 degrees, partly sunny, light wind, and I was motivated to get outside. I felt good starting off and even though a couple moving cars came a bit too close, out of a driveway and parking lot, it didn’t really bother me (unlike other days!). I then decided to run along the Mystic River, which is a wooded area and a rougher terrain than my usual concrete path.
As I was quietly running, stepping over tree roots, rocks, and dirt, I must have picked up my head and ended up stubbing my front foot on an exposed root. I knew I was in trouble. I ended up in the air and coming down head first to the ground. As I dropped my phone I put my hands down to protect my fall and landed quite hard before rolling on my back. As I let out a moan, I immediately felt pain. My reaction was to get up quickly, but a voice inside told me to take a breath or two, which I did. I then got up and looked around to see if anyone had witnessed my fall. It was strange because I wanted to look up and see someone there in case I needed help, but also I was embarrassed and relieved to see no one was around.
As I got up, I started to run off. Again, the voice inside told me to stop running and to walk, while paying closer attention to my body. And again, I listened. As I began walking I noticed the cuts and blood on my hands. At this point I was concerned about infection. I knew there was a small gas station ahead, but began debating whether to ask to use their bathroom to wash up. As I’m writing, it sounds strange, but it was a tough decision (ultimately asking for help). Also, my experience has been that these businesses haven't always accommodating. I was in a bind. I didn’t want to bother the anyone for them just to say no. On the other hand, if I didn’t, I risked the cuts getting infected. So, I decided to ask.
When I approached the mechanic, he politely said, “yes, the bathroom’s over to the left.” In the bathroom cleaning up, I found more cuts on my legs and arms, but thankful I didn’t hit my head or break any bones. The mechanic came over and asked if I wanted a band-aid and some ointment, which I gratefully accepted.
This 10-minute experience changed my mindset and I felt less shaken. This guy, who I'd never met and expected almost nothing from, was so kind and hospitable. He was one step ahead with helping me out, giving me what I needed, and didn't expect anything in exchange. After he handed me the bandage, he walked away and I didn’t see him again. I then left the station and ran the remaining 1.5 miles home.
Now that the adrenaline has leveled off, I’m feeling more soreness. Although, I’m looking forward to my next run and eventually going by the gas station to ask the name of the mechanic, and let him know how meaningful his gesture was in giving me strength during my vulnerable moment.