Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Humbled once again..

I have had my share of falls over the last few years, many of which simply resulted in a few scrapes and bruises. I think the worst fall I've had was this year when I ended up bruising my sternum and was off any sort of physical activity for 3 days.

It must have only been 2 weeks ago that I took that huge scraper bail, which I blogged about before heading off to the Grand Canyon. Since then however, I have bailed twice more, all on my left side!!!! Both falls have been on my way down the BCMC, which is a very steep technical descent down a mountain. They both happened at the end of the run, which has led me to beleive that they are the result of fatigue- not picking my feet up!

I went as far as to create a mantra for myself as I descended BCMC last night. As I was passing this gentleman and his partner, he proceeded to utter "DON'T FALL!!!". I looked back at him and said "No, you can't say that, you have to say something encouraging such as- STAY UPRIGHT!". And that my friends is what I said to myself the rest of the way down- stay upright stay upright.

As I am coming down the trail last night (Peter a bit further ahead) I trip on this root, which catepolted me at rapid speed down the trail. However, somehow, I managed to stay upright. Alright, I thought, this mantra is working! Peter pointed out that this was the exact spot where I supermaned it last time and that he tripped their too today but managed to stay up. It turned out to be this extra large branch that had fallen from some tree and we removed it promptly from the trail, so it could never hurt anyoen again!!!!.

Peter is a bit quicker than myself on steep technical terrain, especailly when the trail is wet. I had been descending at a slower pace than normal, as to ensure no falls were to happen today. But after the trip scare, and the brilliant save, I decided to let her rip. I was doing my best to keep up with Peter but then it happened, I went down like a pile of rocks right into some roots.

My first instinct was to scream and whale like a new born child as if straight from the whomb (over sharing??). The fall didn't even hurt. What got hurt was my confidence. Holy crap man, I thought to myself, honestly, this is 3 falls in 2 weeks, what's going on!? I dusted myself off, may or may not have kicked a few rocks and threw my hat to the ground.

The funny thing is, when you get mad at yourself in running, you can only take your frustrations out on yourself and the trail (poor rocks). If it were another sport, I might be able to hip check my opponent into the boards, to release some of that rage and aggression.

In the end, I got away with a few more battle wounds, perhaps to remind myself to not run with such reckless abandonment when fatigued or to pop another gel for an extra power boost. I have never been afraid of falling and perhaps that is why I consider myself a powerful downhiller. Even with the falls, it doesnt stop me from going out there and working it on the descents whenever I get the chance. I live for downhills. I have always said that they are the reason I even go up. Falling is part of the game, and as long as there are no broken bones, I'm game!

See you in the trails!!!!


Kaz said...

Good for you - great attitude! I need to work on my descents - ascents are def my forte - lighweight and strong and then all those blokes I've nipped past on the way up come belting past on the way down. I have improved (well pre-preggers - I hope I don't loose that post-p) so hope to keep getting faster downhill. The ironic thing - I competed for my country in downhill skiing in my youth - always want a set of planks when descending!

Best advice apart from a mantra of pick your feet up (and yeah keeping blood sugar topped up) is not to look at the view - that my friend ends up in a broken collar bone!

Haha! Keep enjoying those downhill thrills and spills!


SteveQ said...

I've become known for my falls - always to the right, I think. All I've learned is: starting slower means fresher legs later (less tripping), don't let your mind wander when the terrain looks easy, the "Superman" fall makes for a great photo op, bones take 6 weeks to heal.

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andreneatroyer said...

Ya I was the same way when I went down the BCMC. Its very technical and grant can just fly down there. I have sprained my R ankle 3x now, and its frusterating b/c I know I'm more faster when I don't have that fear of falling in the back of my head. I hate going up hills b/c of my broken calves, downhill is my stronger point b/c I usually have very strong ankles. So my advice is to just keep swimming! Don't think about it, just say those words over and over again!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Many a true word is spoken in jest.............................................................