A Shot in the Dark
A brush with death and return to the trails
Just one foot in front of the other," I tell myself. I had repeated this mantra on Sunday, August 21, 2005, as I started the Pikes Peak ...
Photo by Chris Hunter
Just one foot in front of the other," I tell myself. I had repeated this mantra on Sunday, August 21, 2005, as I started the Pikes Peak Marathon, which I wrote about for this magazine (March 2006, Issue 38). But, today is not Pikes Peak.
It is March 1, 2008. I am running, gimping actually, along one of my favorite trails that winds up three extinct volcanoes guarding the mesa west of Albuquerque, New Mexico. I have run this trail, with its miniscule elevation gain of 400 feet, in 40 minutes. Today, it will take me well over an hour.
I would like to blame my snail's pace on wintertime sloth. Instead, I have a bullet to blame. Three months and one week ago, a 7.62 mm bullet fired from an assault rifle ripped through my thigh. Three months and one week ago to this hour, I lay in a hospital bed wondering if I would ever trail run again.