The Roll of an Ankle

Had you seen me at about 8:00 pm this past Friday, I'd have been rolling around the sidewalk near my house. 

While looking up at the constellation Orion, I hit a patch of black ice, slid over the edge of a pothole, and went down.  I immediately uttered some cuss words.  It hurt.  Bad.  It was almost a week ago, and it still hurts.  Its the worst I've rolled an ankle in several years, which is something I guess I should be thankful for. 

This one has been frustrating for many reasons though.  Winter is not my favorite season.  Never has been.  Daily tasks take longer than normal.  You're holed up more.  In Michigan, you might not see the sun for a days at a time.  So to roll the ankle because it was winter was frustrating.  Had it been any other season, I would have ridden my bike.  I was walking to get a bit of exercise, and because there were ice patches on the roads.  It also felt like a bit like the Cosmos were slapping me in the face. 

A few years ago, I looked up and saw this swarm of birds.  Hundreds of them.  They kept coming and coming, and all perched up in a tree right behind my apartment.  The tree was probably 80-feet tall, and it's branches were maybe 40-feet in diameter.  A lot of leaves had fallen off the tree, and the birds were using it as a resting place for the evening during their migratory journey.  I like birds.  One of my best buds is an Ornithologist, and I've birded with him a bunch of times.  (I interviewed him for my podcast, and you can listen by clicking this sentence.)  I felt like I had to get a closer look.  I went up to my roof, and sat there for a while. When I got back in the apartment, my wife was waiting.  She'd been looking for me for a while.  A few days later, when she couldn't find me, she was like, 'Were you looking at birds again?'  She laughed at that one for a while, and did get me pretty good.  That's what it felt like when I fell while looking at Orion.

If I drink too much, or am in nature enough to see it, I'll often go on and on about stars and space.  I love the topic.  It is so interesting to me on so many levels.  The constellations I know, I point out to people.  I'll tell the little story of Orion shooting Taurus the Bull.  I usually then talk about how all of these stars have planets and how the light we're seeing is actually light from a long time ago. 

So I was in this headspace, thinking how cool it was that the universe was showing this thing to me, right now, this day, and then - uff - on the ground.  I walked the rest of the way to my friend's house, thinking it might help loosen the ankle up.  When I got there, they gave me some ice.  It helped, but it still hurts.  

Consequently, I haven't been able to get any exercise this week.  Instead of running and walking, I've had to take it easy.  I've had to not exercise.  (The pattern of exercising is so much harder to get into than the pattern of not exercising.)  I'm seeing it for what it is, though, and cannot let this get me too down.  I'm a bit worried about the River Bank, though.  At this point, I've missed 19-miles worth of running due to ankle.  I hope this setback doesn't stop me from being able to finish the race.  I still have time, as race day isn't until May, but it's these weeks in January and February when it is cold and harder to run, that make a lot of difference in how you feel come May.  It's got me a little bit down, but it's how I get back up that matters more.  That's what will make this a setback or a defeat.

It's also - and this happens any time I injure something - made me realize how the body works as a unit.  When it's all going well, it's easy to forget this, but one tweak and injury, and you feel it right away.  An ankle matters a lot.  It plays an important role.