Before I Kill Myself

I have always prided myself on knowing Monhegan Island’s rocky roads inside and out. I’d like to think I know every protruding rock up and down “Main Street.” That may be the case but I can’t say the same for the trails.

There are 17 miles of hiking trails on this one and a half mile island. They range from huff-puff hilly to pancake flat, high-wire narrow to truck-width wide. Some trails take you deep into the mossy, root laden woods, others take you to the rocky, lichen and sea gulll crap covered cliffs. Some wind around occupied cottages while others are seemingly out in the middle of nowhere. You could traverse over fresh water to go look at salt water. You could pass fairy houses or just fairies depending on where you go. There’s a lot to look at but my advice is always look down. At your feet.

For the first time ever I nearly broke my ankle not paying attention to where my feet were taking me. Never before (on Monhegan) have I twisted my ankle to the point of puking or passing out but when I did I was unsure which would happen first (luckily, neither). Pride won’t let me blame the fall on me or myself so moi argues it was the shoes. I was wearing trail shoes that are stiff. My husband has the same problem with his (same brand) and he recommended wearing them loose as not to rub so much on the tops of my feet. I practically untied mine to ease the pressure. The problem? These trail shoes are a size too big already (the company doesn’t make them any smaller but I had to have them). I normally wear them for short periods of time and with two pairs of socks. This time the shoes were so loose I could have jumped right out of them if scared properly.

We were coming down a rather grassy, muddy trail that was rutted and uneven. Momentum had me practically running down the slope. Before I knew it my ankle was rolling and I was falling. I never was actually off my feet. Somehow I righted myself at the last second but my ankle had done some crazy gymnastics in the process. The pain made me faint but the idea of injuring an already weak ankle made me sick to my stomach. This was my good ankle but it’s been sprained before to the point of recovery in a cast. I could feel the panic spreading from my pain to my brain.

In the end my ankle is fine. But, I need to get new trail shoes before I kill myself. I got lucky this time. Much to my chagrin I have recovered my pride and I can still say I’ve never hurt me, myself or moi on the trails on Monhegan. But, I don’t want there to be a next time. I don’t need to die from embarrassment.

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