Word of running injuries spreads fast in Wellesley. A lot faster than most of my crew runs these days.
And so it was that I heard about Wellesley resident and Babson College Prof. Rick Cleary‘s ill-fated run near Morses Pond, while I was on a run of my own shortly thereafter.
“Yes, 47 years, 83 marathons and about 80,000 miles of lording my indestructibility over my oft-injured friends was over in a matter or seconds,” wrote Cleary to me.
This message came after he wrote to a group of his running friends to break the news of his injury:
“Hello boot camp buddies and other Babson running pals:
I was supposed to be running a 10 mile race in Manchester, NH this morning with many of you, but my right quadriceps tendon had different ideas. Last night about 6:30 it blew out completely while I was doing a two mile run with Tommy on the Pickle Point trail along Morse’s Pond in Wellesley, a narrow woods path just off a wide aqueduct trail. I stumbled a little and fell, not a hard fall but I knew immediately that something was seriously wrong. I knew this because the space between my quad muscles and my knee cap on my right leg featured a divot about four inches deep and around. It was pretty ugly, and really quite painful. I couldn’t move my lower leg at all. After a few minutes it felt a little better and I tried to stand up. People who live on the perimeter of Morse’s Pond will be talking for years about the howls of the ghost of Pickle Point. It really hurt. ”
Hope you weren’t eating dinner while you read that.
Cleary’s wife, Ann Trenk, was out of town, and their son Eddie Trenk was at a Wellesley High cross country team pre-season camp, but as it would turn out, Rick still had a strong support system.
Hatching a plan
Fortunately, 13-year-old Tommy Trenk was on hand, and hatched a plan with his Dad to get help.
Rick says Tommy was fresh off the town’s Fire Rescuers camp program, and thanks Wellesley Youth Commission’s Maura Renzella and the Wellesley Fire Department for instilling some handy skills in his son.
“Step 1: Run home. (We were about a mile away from home on a rarely used path, though the busier aqueduct path was only perhaps 100 yards away.)
Step 2: Turn off oven. (We had a very good pasta casserole cooking.)
Step 3: Call 911 and tell them your Dad is stuck.
Step 3a: And when you come back bring both of our phones so we can make plans.”
Rick spent the next 20 minutes swatting mosquitoes (fortunately, Wellesley is at a low-risk level for EEE), and tried to stay otherwise still. Until he didn’t.
“Eventually I got bored with that and realized that I could sit up and scoot backwards with my right leg dragging along. It took me about five minutes to go about 50 yards, but it felt good to be able to move on my own. About half way back to the main aqueduct trail, I heard Tommy coming with two police officers and two EMTs; the policemen had picked him up at our house so he could lead them on the trail. The officers were very complimentary of Tommy’s mature approach to leading them to me. The EMT who was driving enjoys off-road trucking as a hobby and really liked getting to back the ambulance way down the aqueduct trail.” (Cleary notes he was sure to mention to the officers that he runs in the Wellesley Police Department’s Officer Savage memorial race each year.)
Tommy called family friends to pick him up, while Rick headed to Newton-Wellesley Hospital’s emergency room. Tests confirmed the original diagnosis, and showed there were no broken bones. Rick made it home just before his wife did, and the casserole tasted great. Nothing to see here…
Though those of you who cross Cleary’s path will see he’s wearing a knee immobilizer and will be sporting crutches. Surgery to re-attach the tendon is slated for this week. “It’s a serious injury but the surgery and recovery are straightforward,” assures a friend of Cleary’s who’s had it done twice.
Cleary concludes that “I’m glad that when I finally got injured it was a no-doubt-about-it doozy. I’d have felt bad saying, ‘My knee is a little sore, I guess I’m finally hurt.’
He now turns his attention to teaching, where he acknowledges his style will be cramped. “It usually involves a lot of movement around the classroom.”
The Wellesley Free Library has put together a new class, “Life-Ready Basics for Teens.” Here’s the description of the sensible, skills-based program we think every teen could benefit from:
At some point in your life, you’re going to be expected to know how to do things that nobody ever really taught you how to do. Nobody can say for sure when that will be, but you don’t want to feel unprepared. Check out a new series of practical skills sessions this fall for teens aged 13 – 17. The first session, “Social Media Etiquette,” will take place after school on Monday, September 23, 3:30pm – 4:30pm in the Arnold Room (second floor) of the main library. Learn some insider tips about privacy online, know how your information on social media can be used, and discuss what you should and probably shouldn’t post to your accounts. Bring you own phones, laptops, or devices to learn hands-on how to adjust your privacy settings. Sign up required. For more information, email the library.
First, thoughts and prayers to anyone who saw me running shirtless on Saturday morning. But really, I had a good excuse.
I got up before 6am to log an 11-mile run, part of my training for a half marathon in October. I would have preferred to get up a little later considering I’m up before sunrise most week days, but this was a special day: Our youngest child was heading off to college for his freshman year, and he wanted to get going by 8:30am. So rise early I did.
Once I got going I didn’t mind. The run would give me a chance to finalize in my head some words of wisdom to torture my son with on our drive to his college drop-off.
I also congratulated myself for remembering to use insect repellent, anticipating that bugs would be on the attack on this humid morning. Indeed, I pretty much held off the deer flies, mosquitoes and other biting pests.
But then a little past the 8-mile mark near Babson College’s new athletics and recreation facility, I felt a sharp pain near my left shoulder, on my upper arm. I suspected an insect had snuck under my sweaty shirt and was going to town on me. I whacked the spot a couple of times and then realized I was hitting something hard. What the heck?
I pulled off to the side (something I try never to do on my runs) and discovered the source of my pain: a fishing lure set with 2 treble hooks.
I really didn’t think I’d ever outdo this past winter’s flying shovel running incident (Groundbreaking Wellesley story: Flying shovel hit me while I was running). But I think this qualifies.
This is no fish story
I still don’t know how the lure clung to me. My first thought was that it must have been hanging from a tree that I brushed against. Or maybe less dramatically, we had one in our house that got mixed up in the laundry.
However it got there, it got me. As I struggled to dislodge it from my shirt and myself, the hooks dug in. The next thing I knew, a fellow runner (I regrettably failed to get her name) saw me struggling and asked if I needed help.
Self-described as “not mechanical at all,” and confirming that she was “far from being a doctor,” the woman went to work, apologizing if she ripped my shirt. Struggling to free the lure, she tentatively asked if I’d take my shirt off, to give her a better angle at the barbs. Unfortunately, one of her pulls extricated a hook from my shirt and into one of her fingers. After she freed herself from the hook, she tried a bit longer to help me and then suggested I might want to go to the doctor.
Instead, I wrapped the shirt around my left humerus like a tourniquet and ran as fast as I could for the last 3 miles. That consisted of a route mainly on the Sudbury Aqueduct, past the dump and back to my starting spot near Wellesley College.
I arrived home just at 8:30am, apologizing to Mrs. Swellesley and Swellesley Jr., for my late arrival (and being reminded of the time I got stuck on the Charles River without a paddle on an inflatable raft when I was supposed to be getting home for my niece or nephew’s christening…).
And oh yeah, can you help me get this fish hook out of my arm?
My son, a former camp counselor with some basic medical training, switched from final packing mode to surgery mode. We headed to the downstairs bathroom, where the lighting is ER-quality. Mrs. Swellesley sterilized instruments and Swellesley Jr. cut my shirt off. After 5-10 minutes, he plucked the lure from my arm with little blood or screaming from either of us.
The affair provided one last boost of confidence to my son upon heading to college. “At least I’ve got a conversation starter,” he said, knowing he’s sure to be in for a week full of ice-breakers.
Glad I could help.
The Wellesley Youth Commission, Wellesley Recreation Department, Challenge Success at Wellesley High School (WHS) team and other community supporters will be hosting a free movie night at 7pm on May 29th at WHS to share the film, In Search of Greatness. Our community goal is to raise awareness about the importance of play and its impact on children’s development.
One of the cornerstones of Challenge Success is a commitment to improving the social, emotional, and physical well being of children through the power of play. Through this film we will be focusing on Challenge Success’s concept of PDF— playtime, downtime, and family time. Young children need ample time for their most important job: unstructured play. Kids of all ages need restorative time to reflect and dream. And families need time together: at meals, on weekends, and during vacations to connect and form lasting bonds.
WHERE: Screening at Wellesley High School Auditorium
WHEN: Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 7pm
Elmwood Christian Preschool Activity Fair and Open House
42 Elmwood Rd., Wellesley
Sunday, March 24, 1pm – 3pm
SPONSORED POST: Elmwood Christian Preschool has taught and nourished some of the smallest members in the
Wellesley community for almost forty years. Our integrated Christian curriculum consists of a variety of hands-on learning activities and experiences planned according to a calendar of themes and units. The daily activities include literature, math, science, social studies, and life skills.
Enrichments to the children’s education at our school include classes in music, science, yoga, gym, and Christian curriculum. All teaching is child-centered and developmentally appropriate which incorporates daily opportunities for individual as well as group activities, quiet and active play choices, imaginative play, problem-solving skills, literature and both large and small muscle activities. We believe preschool children are active learners who learn through play.
Come see what makes us the “hidden gem” in Wellesley!
Interested families are encouraged to visit our website www.elmwoodchristianpreschool.org or call 781-237-5806 to schedule a tour with our Director, Susan Weycker. A child must be three-years old by September 1 to enroll.
According to Planned Parenthood, only half of U.S. teens talk with their parents about sex, which reflects the discomfort both parents and teens often feel regarding these conversations. To avoid the awkwardness, many teens seek advice from non-parental family members, like older sisters and brothers or aunts and uncles, who they see as easier to talk to and less judgmental than parents. However, little research has been done about these conversations and whether they can protect teens from risky sexual behaviors. During this presentation, Jennifer Grossman, Ph.D., a senior research scientist, and Anmol Nagar ’21, a Wellesley College student research intern, will share their research in progress on this topic, discuss how conversations with non-parental family can protect teens from risky sexual behavior, and how these family members talk with teens about sex and relationships.
WHEN: March 14, 2019 • 12:40 – 1:30 p.m.
WHERE: Lulu Chow Wang Campus Center, Wellesley College, Room 413
PRESENTERS: Jennifer M. Grossman, Ph.D., Anmol Nagar ’21
This is a program of the Lunchtime Seminar Series at the Wellesley Centers for Women, which is free and open to the public. Tea and coffee will be provided. Parking for this program is available in the Davis Parking Facility. For accessibility questions, contact Disability Services at Wellesley College.
For questions or to confirm program lineup: [email protected] \ 781.283.2500