Big Toe versus Big Root By BareFootBC The Root wins pretty much every time. It’s kinda comical (in a masochistic way)- cruising down a winding trail, leaping and bounding as required, a bit of mud here, some grass there, a section of hard pack, maybe some water crossings. Sorta in the zone, feeling at peace and connected with nature, maybe a few deer have been startled (much inspiration when they elegantly leap off into the bush), the elk lift their heads from grazing to stare at you as you ‘glide’ by, squirrels read you the riot act when you encroach on their terrain, all kinds of birds take wing when you approach...yeah, this is harmony. Then Big Root crosses your path. Maybe you’re so in the zone that you’re not paying as much attention as you could. Maybe you’ve been blinded by the sun. Or maybe Big Root just kinda springs up at the last second. Whatever the cause...BANG!!! That sudden jarring sensation sends a shockwave of ‘oh s**t, that really sucks’ coursing from toe to brain as you’re going down. Arms outstretched you’re praying the hands encounter something soft (and hopefully not squishy and smelly). Maybe in your mind you’re thinking this would be a good time to attempt a Parkour inspired roll (good luck with that). Your glide has become a jarring crash landing. The first impulse is to spring up and look around- sigh of relief, nobody witnessed that. A quick look down- there’s no blood, no toes sticking out at funny angles, it’s all good (yüp, denial is your best friend in situations like this) so back to the run...okay, maybe it’s a bit of an inspired hobble/skip/pussyfooted type of forward mobility but in your mind it’s running. And the end of the trail is only another mile. Or two. Whatever. Just. Don’t. Look. Down!! Remember, DENIAL is currently your best friend. Until you’re home. Washing off your feet. Of course you wash off the painless one first. Still relishing that relationship with DENIAL. A heavy sigh. Then you start washing off The One That Brought You Down. At the heel. Which feels pretty good. As you’re working forward you experience some tenderness in the mid foot/arch section- hmmm, not so bad. Then the forefoot. Kinda ouches. Your friend DENIAL steers you towards your four smaller toes because all’s well, right? Right! Yup, pretty focused on those four toes for awhile. Interesting how you’ve been shielding Big Toe from your line of sight by hand placement and looking away. Sigh. Can’t put it off any longer. You touch Big Toe and SUNOFABEECH does that hurt!! Screw the scrubbing it, COLD water NOW! Ahhh, that pleasant (lack of) sensation called numbness. During that microsecond of turning away from that really great friend DENIAL you took in the cut, scrapes, swelling, the interesting shades of purpled and reds... Put on a heavy wool sock for awhile. My friend DENIAL and I are gonna hang out. A few days later it’s not so bad. COLD water soaks. Massaging it. Most of the swelling and interesting purples and reds are gone. The scrapes and cut are almost gone. Able to trim off the broken bit of nail. Still a little tender. Time for a run And maybe bring an axe.