August 5, 2018

A Bad Break, Literally

A walnut cracked under my foot, or was that a stick? I thought about this as a sharp crack and immense pain forced me to stop walking. "Hold on" I told my friends, "give me a minute", as my breath escaped my lungs in a flash of light. A few deep inhalations and my equilibrium returned -- we continued our trek down a local trail, even veering off to explore another path, on our way to the cars. A funny catch in my foot was bothering me and made me wonder if I'd sprained my ankle but the day was going to be an active one.

A few more hours of walking and when I returned home made the decision to seek urgent care opinion for my foot. It was not only sprained but the ankle was broken on both sides. The crack was not a walnut! Booted and crutched up my main thought was of a lost summer of walking. My daily mileage goal would not be met as I was given a "sentence" of 6 to 12 weeks recuperation, at least!

A planned and important trip loomed a few days away with packing center on my agenda. At 65, crutches are NOT my friend and impeded everything I tried to do. The trip to beautiful Lake Superior over, we got home in time for calf pain and a diagnosed DVT (deep vein thrombosis) - aka blood clot.

My goal of walking 1100 miles this year was almost as important to me as my identity. It was a reachable goal, similar to years past. My Fitbit eagerly counted my steps all year with a daily goal met or exceeded. A deep breath and a moment of reality faced me as I pulled up my google calendar to reset my daily walk goal to meet the need for RICE: rest, ice, compression and elevation of my foot. I planned out 12 weeks of .5 miles a day - enough to get around to my essentials without blowing my recovery. An optimistic although less-enhanced walking goal … a positive move (if I must admit) rather than dwell in sadness over my inability to walk through the summer.

I know that this Barefoot Norwegian will return to the trails in autumn … a beautiful time of year in Michigan. My decreased mileage for this time period will be difficult at times, but it IS a goal, even if tiny - better than drinking weak coffee, that's for sure.

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