“Trail Runner” By Chris Zito

When my friend invited me to go trail running with him, I was thrilled. I’d just recently gotten my pace down near 10 minute miles again and increased my distance past 3 miles. Both were milestones I hadn’t hit in years. Trail running had been off the docket since I was under forty. I’m now over fifty. What could possibly go wrong?


Lookin’ good, Zito!

We arrived at the trail with his dogs on a beautiful New England summer morning. They scurried about sniffing happily as we warmed up. I had insisted that I need a good long warm up of squats, lunges, and various other ridiculous looking exercises to avoid injury. I’m sure I looked like a tool to people out for a leisurely walk. One little girl started pointing and laughing.


Whatever, kid. If my ligaments were four years old I wouldn’t be doing this.

My buddy had told me the pace would be easy which it was. As we settled in, I realized two things:
1) This is slower than I run now.
2) I have no desire to speed up.
Trail running and road running are about as the same as arithmetic and calculus.


This equation shows clearly that something bad could happen.
But I don’t know calculus so I just kept on running.

This trail was not like the one’s I’d run on before. This one was covered in rocks and stones of various sizes and shapes. There were roots everywhere. Every step had to be carefully placed in order to move forward. And yet here we were chugging along, chatting happily. I was feeling strong and agile and I was utterly delusional.


See the age defying runner as he leaps over every obstacle in his way!

Then my ankle rolled.
I heard a familiar pop as I went forward onto the ground. I shouted in pain and surprise and, since she had warned me not to do this, instantly started wondering how exactly I would word my apology to my wife for being laid up for days and not being able to work.


These say, “You’ll be taking Vince to day camp for the next few days, sorry.”

Once I came to a stop I was relieved to see that my foot was still attached. So many questions ran through my head.
“Is it broken?”
“Will I start putting weight back on since I can’t run for a while?”
“Why is that same little girl pointing at me?”


You again? You’d better run because in a few hours when
I get up from here I’m gonna slap you silly!

This post comes to you with my foot elevated, my body thoroughly dosed up with ibuprofen, and my fat ratio already creeping back up.

Thanks for reading. Tell your pals.
Chris Zito

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