Tuesday, March 22, 2011

One red sock

I'm gonna warn you now... this one's going to be a little on the gross side.

Ok, maybe a lot on the gross side. Like maybe 30 or 40 yards deep into gross territory.

The squeamish should probably go here instead. Or here. Or maybe here.

Either way, you've been warned.

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I know, right? See, I told ya.

That's what I saw when I pulled my shoe off after a 6 miler. And let me tell ya, the picture doesn't really do it justice. It looked like something you'd see in some cheesy film-school lawnmower-turned-evil short.

What would be going through your mind if that lovely sight greeted you... and it was your foot?

Here are the thoughts that went through my head... in order:
1) Cool!
2) Huh. I didn't feel anything. Still don't. That's weird.
3) Damn, I love these socks.
4) Hey, it's still wet. I can rinse them out in the shower. Sweet!
5) I wonder what kind of carnage is going down in there...

Note: At no time did the thought occur to me that I might have lost a toenail. Or a toe. Or that I'd stepped on a nail. Or been a snack for some voracious spider-scorpion-pacman hybrid.

Inside the sock, there was blood... a LOT of blood. Most of my not-so-big toes were covered in blood. But no real damage. Toenails intact. All toes accounted for. No critters scrambling for cover.

All of that blood came from one tiny hole in the side of my middle toe. One teeny-tiny hole.

So why all the gore?

Because life is messy sometimes, but usually, things aren't as bad as they look at first.

One day, probably soon, you're gonna take off your metaphorical shoe and find a metaphorical horribly bloody sock.

You can scream and make a scene and limp around like an invalid. Seriously, go right ahead. No one will think less of you.

Or... you can look at that sock, examine it. Wonder why and how. Contemplate it, and your reaction to it. Soak in that moment and experience it for what it is.

It's a surprise, a break from the ordinary.

It's an unexpected jolt, snapping you from your sleepy routine and reminding you that the unexpected, the unplanned, is a part of life... maybe the best part.

It's an awakening. 

It's also a reminder to take that extra second or two when you're trimming your toenails to make sure you don't leave a razor-sharp pointy bit on the side.

The sock rinsed clean. Band-aid on the toe stemmed the crimson tide. All's back to normal.

Things always, eventually, settle back to normal.

Good running,
Doug

Images from here and me.