12/05/2014 11:12 am ET Updated Feb 04, 2015

Heartfelt December Wishes From a Trail Runner

If for a moment, can you imagine what a fuel-injected foot might look and feel like? Well, here to tell you that nearly a year of foot demise has led to nearly 10 top specialists opining on the matter, only to come to one today that got it. You know your day of deliverance when it arrives. I trained on the infamous Double Dipsea trail the day before Thanksgiving and wounded my right foot -- it a place of certain misgivings, truth be told, were not fully revealed until a later day upon dawn's arrival. In the best of world's, a trail-running athlete's nightmare.

Some say the case with athletes is a mad one, and as one, I might consent. Ice, heat, new shoes, active release, rest - common folk modalities to arrive at some amount of healing only to be yourself forlorn.

December 4 was a marker for reasons of true importance - good and bad. I picked up my North Face trail run kit in Marin County knowing that once finally in hand, there was no going back per usual. This race has been the race - the one for my life, the one for those I loved. By 4:30 p.m. it came time to tell a seasoned doctor why it was compelling yet again. One glance from me and he knew he'd be wise to not have that discussion. 4 ballistic injections to the foot, madman-taping befitting only of a concubine, and honest words - tape, rest, suck it up, untape Saturday evening, and run like the wind. My God, finally someone gets it. Back in my office on Monday, you need surgery soon.

That brings me to the evening's proceedings of why run this race? One that's been of such importance for so many years. True to form, I listed the reasons I normally made a practice to keep in my pocket on race day:

  • to transcend pain
  • for nobody but myself - how selfish for once! (thinking that's a good thing!)

That's pretty mundane, so let's go further, shall we? If finishing this race accomplishes something in the greater scheme, let's say it had magic powers, then what?

  • it would heal the earth
  • it would heal wounds
  • it would help those that live in pain
  • it would demonstrate that worth is not a monetary endeavor
  • it would be a sign of solidarity for all that hurt or suffer in any way
  • it would give hope that by faith in what we hold dear, we'll get there together

This December, I can't think of a better holiday wish than this one for all of you and for the planet. It is simply amazing, dazzling really, how nature and sport can bring us to our knees in a way that we can understand what is of the upmost importance, and will always ring true. If my running wishes come true, what a world it would be.