Today’s knee surgery: It’s all downhill from here

I lived in Salt Lake City for five years after graduating from BYU. During that time, I explored every trail along the Wasatch Front but there was one standout. Rain, snow or shine, I’d arise before dawn and would run Red Butte Skyline Trail, arriving at the crest of the mountain just as the sun kissed the Salt Lake Valley.

And yes, I did say run.

As in uphill.

By choice.

Since moving to Colorado, I’ve often longed to return to Red Butte but there has never been the perfect opportunity. When I was in Utah last summer, I finally found one thanks to my mother-in-law who offered to watch the kids for a couple of hours.

I drove through former military garrison Fort Douglas and passed the entrance to Red Butte Garden Arboretum. I followed the tree-lined gravel road to the cosseted parking area.

For the past two years, I’ve had to relinquish running due to my bum knee so I hiked a trail that starts on a closed-off service road and gradually climbs along gurgling Red Butte Creek. Deeply furrowed Western River Birches lined the path as I crossed over the creek and started the steep climb.

I wanted to run. I needed to run. In a move right out of Star Wars when Yoda limps to the fight scene with his cane and proceeds to kick Count Dooku’s butt, I kicked it into gear. Backpack bouncing, hair flailing, I grew wings as I flew along that trail.

OK, so maybe I was going downhill but work with me here.

It was a taste of the former life I loved and desperately missed.

Today, I am going under the knife for my knee surgery.

And hope to take flight again soon.

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