The Shut-In is looming.
These days I've got some good options when I want to hit the trails. On runs with my dad we explore the epic ups and gnarly downs of Pisgah. When I go running with Joh, we (subtly, with great nonchalance) try to bludgeon each other into submission. When I'm on my own, I do long loops on the old faithfuls and get lost in my thoughts. Today I did the Big M backwards and forwards and only came into contact with people twice; I skirted the work crew on Sycamore, then ran into T Cowie and T Had near the end. Squirrel had only a few, oft-repeated words of wisdom for me: "Don't forget to eat and drink." He knows me so well.
During the hours of vaguely addled solitude, I decided to name all the different ways that I go downhill. What follows is an unabridged compendium of all my descending styles.
1: The Rag Doll:
All about gravity, feet flopping and arms flailing. I do the Rag Doll down steep, wide open
descents. It's like running it WFO on a bike. It's the fastest way to run but the feet take a beating.
2: The Real Runner:
This is less of a free fall than the Rag Doll. This style uses more muscle for braking and control, and actually pay attention to where each foot goes. Better for technical downhills and hurts less.
3: The Jackalope:
This bounding style is ideal for thick, soft surfaces like mud, heavy leaf cover, and especially snow. It's crazy fun but only works when there's something to catch and cushion each foot fall.
4: The Holy Sh*t:
I reserve this cautious half-run half-walk for only the scariest, most ridiculous rock faces,
boulder fields, and slippery switchbacks.
5: The Prairie Dog: