Running Into the Ground


I run every morning before work. I love to. It helps me wake up plus I get my workout done early so I have the rest of the day after work to myself. On July 30, 2016, I woke up to run as usual, but this time I was running behind. I run the same path every morning because it’s generally clear of traffic.

About two miles into the run, I came to an intersection with rattle grates on either side of the road. As I approached the intersection, I noticed two vehicles driving toward me with their lights on. The lights temporarily blinded me as I ran over the grates, and I tripped and fell on my knee.

At first I didn’t feel any pain, so I stood back up to make sure I was okay, dusted myself off, and kept going. I was more worried about the embarrassment of falling in front of two groups of people. When I looked at my knee, it was a different story. I moved the palm of my hand when I saw the blood running down my leg into my shoe and saw the bottom of my knee cap and the tendon attached to it. It looked like a large chunk of my knee just fell on the ground. Both of the vehicles just sat there with their lights shining on me and I realized no one saw how bad it was. I used my phone’s flashlight to signal to someone that I needed help.

Someone immediately drove toward me and got out to help once they saw what my knee looked like. The other car drove by once I was in the first vehicle and left. They took me to the Air Force security building and called an ambulance, my husband, and my squadron. At the ER, I got a tetanus shot, antibiotics, and pain medication. The doctor checked to make sure I could still move my knee and that I didn’t damage the tendon. In the end, I received 36 stitches and couldn’t bend my knee for four weeks, but thankfully avoided any major injury.

What was supposed to be a routine morning run, turned out to be a painful trip to the emergency room. It was unfortunate that the drivers blinded me at the exact moment I ran over the grates, but also lucky that they were there to give me a ride to the medical facility. In hindsight, I wish I had either slowed down or stopped running until the vehicles passed and I had a clear field of view of the obstacles. When routine tasks become atypical, it’s never a bad idea to slow down and take the conservative approach. I learned this lesson while off-duty, but we can all apply this to our professional environments as well.

AT2 Jordan Osmera is an aviation electronics technician with Fleet Readiness Center Southeast (FRCSE) Jacksonville.

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