Dear Katherine:

I don't know your last name or whether you spell your first name with a K or a C. I don't know your address or your phone number.

I can't give you a proper thank you for your kindness. So I'll tell the fine folks out there about it and ask them to pass a thanks to someone in their own lives in your honor.

Three weeks ago, you stopped your run to help me where I sat stunned and bleeding on the sidewalk, my black dog panting beside me. I had rolled my ankle on a stretch of broken pavement and it was swelling with the sprain; I was picking gravel out of my slashed knees; I had a mild concussion.

You stopped and walked me home. You stopped your run on a rare 62-degree July morning, a perfect morning for an uninterrupted run. Cars had passed me as I dragged myself off the street onto the sidewalk, but you stopped. You talked to me and offered to take Annabelle's leash; you made sure someone was at my house.

And you, Katherine, have gotten me back on my feet faster and healthier: although I'm clearly a beginner compared to you, you talked to me as a fellow runner. Thanks to you, rather than feel failed and stupid from the first moments of the injury, I thought of recovery the way an athlete does, tending the machinery to get it back in prime working order.

Here's to you, Katherine! From the tips of my toes, through my healed ankle and knees and all the way up to my smiling face, thank you! Not just for helping me - but for reminding me with your kindness what a huge difference ten minutes out of my way might make to someone else.

I wish for you, always, shoes that make you feel lighter than air and interesting trails to run, and I hope we meet again.

Ann Elizabeth

Runner's Injury Links
Runner's Rescue Running Injury Causes and Tips
In jury Prevention at Runner's World
Ankle Sprains from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons
Run the Planet offers injury prevention (and assures me that only a small percentage of injuries are due to falls).

(Cross-posted from A Sunny Hello.)