A Journey Of Ten Thousand Miles…

…ends with a single step. To paraphrase a famous person.

Kingswood Road

Kingswood Road, Herefordshire, 20 minutes before accident

Most of you in my immediate circle will have been aware that I fractured my tibia (and ripped my meniscus) on a run Sunday morning. Since then I’ve been in the hospital, having plates and screws installed to repair things and being hopped up on morphine and lying very, very, still.

Trev and Eve stayed nearby with our fine friends Kate and Dane and their even finer kids Isabella and Callum, who were lovely to the Bean– many thanks, you sweet folks.

It was a gorgeous morning and a beautiful run through lanes around Kington, Herefordshire (blurry photos from my cell phone are posted in this entry). I fell here, just north of the opening to that circular driveway, and you can sort of see in the Street View that just before the wall there the pavement’s uneven. I tripped on my right foot, twisted as I fell, and got really great road rash on my left knee and hand.

My immediate sensation was a wave of nausea and then a horrible cold sweat breaking out everywhere, from the roots of my hair to the small of my back. When I tried to stand up, the right leg failed and collapsed under me. I had to crawl along the curb to make my phone call for rescue.

a 4111

10 minutes before accident

Trev and our hostess Kate soon arrived, and I was whisked off to safety and then to A & E at Hereford County Hospital. By this time I was feeling better, thanks to some pain relief, and prodding the injured leg guessed that I’d ripped some ligaments or something. The intake nurse and the nurse practitioner, who had to cut my running tights to get at the swollen knee, agreed with me. But they ordered some x-rays to be sure.

I was wheeled away on a trolley, leaving Eve crying with Trev. The lovely radiologists positioned me, snapped a picture. There was a pause as they clicked mice and squinted at monitors. Then one of them said “Oooh. Crikey, look at this.”

It’s never, ever good when a radiologist says that. They took three more images and then wheeled me back out to a cubicle where I waited with Trev and Eve, and the nurse practitioner returned with a little model of a human knee and explained that I’d cracked the right corner of my tibial plateau and that she was referring me to the orthopedic surgeons.

I laughed. That’s how I respond to things like this, because it’s kind of dumb, really: there I was, getting some exercise, anticipating going out for a nice meal, looking at the scenery, and the next thing I know there are surgeons drawing arrows on my legs and I’ve got to ring for a nurse in order to have a pee.

morning after

Morning after the accident, waiting for surgery

Lots of people cracked the joke “That’s what you get for exercising!” Most of them were genuinely kidding, but there were some people (those who didn’t know me, mostly) whose body language and tone of voice clearly suggested they thought I deserved the injury.

Eh. I figure that over the last ten years I’ve run something like 10,000 – 15,000 miles, and this is the first time I’ve had anything seriously negative happen as a result of my hobby. It keeps me sane, keeps me healthy, and has allowed me to explore a lot of interesting places on foot. That I’m now inconvenienced for the next 14 weeks and will probably have an arthritic knee in years to come is a small price to pay for this.

Hell, I’m already looking for races in April.



  1. Fall down seven times, stand up eight – Japanese proverb

    So glad you are looking on the bright side lovely! Sending extra love your way

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