This is the two weeks of July in which baseball intersects running for me each summer. I just finished up this afternoon umpiring 17 games in 9 days for our local district Little League baseball tournaments for various age levels. It makes for a lot of late nights but also a lot of fun as my local umpiring colleagues and I attempt to give the 10 through 12 year old All-Stars from communities in an eight county area a good baseball experience. It also gave new meaning to the term "intersects."
Last Wednesday night, I worked two games, got home late, showered and tiredly plunked one of my three bags of umpire gear on our bedroom floor. (Note: if you've never been around a baseball umpire, it is hard to imagine just How Much Stuff one needs. Yes, I have three bags of umpire gear. Yes, most of it smells funny too.) Sometime in the night, I got up to go to the bathroom. On my sleepy walk to crawl back into bed, I whacked my left little toe on the hard corner of the Bag 'o Stuff. Wow, it hurt, but I managed not to wake up my sleeping wife. Back to sleep.
On Thursday mid-morning at work, in my Official Business Person Leather Shoes, I started to notice my left foot hurting badly. I could not figure out why. I replayed several incidents from the previous night's game. Was it a foul tip that hit me? No. Did I jam my foot when running down to cover third base? Couldn't remember it. But, wow, the the foot hurt. Only at the end of the day, when I was changing socks to go umpire again did I see the very red, swollen, angry-looking little toe did I remember the bump in the night. I guess I really was sleepy when it happened.
So, I gimped through seven more baseball games. For the most part, it wasn't a big factor in umpiring, though I had a few cases where I forgot and tried to brake and pivot on the left foot and was instantly reminded of the injury. I did try to run, though, on Friday morning, because the schedule called for 5 miles. And I like to keep my schedule, just like Darrell does. Out the door I went. And a quarter mile into the warm up, it was very obvious that pounding the swollen pinkie was a non-starter. Nothing I could do but let this thing heal up. So, I also had to skip the scheduled 7 one-mile intervals set for Saturday. And I like that workout. But it was a no-go.
The toe is getting better each day, so I'm hoping to run again this week, but we'll see. 20 miles are on tap for next Saturday... another much-loved distance.
Man, if this is the worst problem I ever have, I'm really blessed. And, at the same time, I clear the floor now before I go to bed.
Persevere. Through whatever bumps happen in your night.