A little under eight months ago, I tripped on my front steps and broke my ankle in three places, and my leg in one.
It should’ve been a really shitty six-to-eight-weeks, but instead, it’s morphed into nearly eight months of non-weight-bearing, six hospital stays, five surgeries, and a slew of doctors.
Through this odyssey, though, I’ve had a lot of time to ruminate, and I’ve noticed something intrinsic about traumatic, orthopedic injuries and how athletes – professional or otherwise – are perceived, as opposed to those who don’t identify thereas.
There’s an underlying attitude that the athlete’s limbs are more worthy of heroic actions, but not only is this untrue, it negates those people who identify simply as active.
Before my injury and subsequent issues due to poor surgical care, I literally ran every day at my job, from point A to point B, often carrying bulky objects. I drove all over creation for meetings and look-sees. I volunteered to jump up on high surfaces and to leap off, if needed. Work hard, play hard and all that jazz.
Some of that is going to need modification moving forward – next stop is an ankle fusion – and I need an appropriate level of support to do so – support to learn to drive again (a car, not a golf club), to excel at my job, to live a happy, active life that doesn’t bring with it professionals asking me to trade the Appalachian Trail for mah-jong.
Thankfully, I feel like I have the right team on my side now, and though the road ahead is still long, it’s much less overgrown with brambles and hubris than it was.
Still, it remains that I now enter appointments with a chip on my untoned shoulder that I didn’t have before; one that whispers “you are making this world turn too. Make sure they know that before you leave.”
Photo: Subaru of America, Inc. event, tailed by at least four politicians. And wearing a Subaru dress and heels, thank you very much. #patientsarepeople