Perspective


I sprained my ankle on July 3. The problem is, I never really addressed this sprain. After the initial gut-wrenching fall and subsequent pain that radiated up and down my foot and leg… I pretty much just started running again. I figured I’d run home. I was in sprain-denial.

On that run, my endorphins from pre-fall must have still been alive and kicking, because my ankle didn’t hurt that much. This surprised me, because as I was falling I saw my ankle twist, I felt it twist. At one point, I thought it was splitting it in half.

Apparently, I was mistaken, I thought as I sauntered home. I iced it, just to be sure. I took it easy that day. Then, the next morning, I proceeded to go for another run. A five miler. My ankle didn’t hurt… but it didn’t feel that hot either.

Later that morning I was in the car, on a two hour trip up north. I glanced down at my ankle in horror. It was the size of a grapefruit. A large, you have to go to Florida to get one this big, grapefruit. We stopped the car, and I hauled my citrus foot into the grocery store to buy some frozen peas. I was convinced this would take care of it. Add a few Motrin to the mix, and I’d be good as new.

Now, a normal, sane person would probably get an ace bandage at this point. He or she would also choose not to go golfing on uneven ground the next morning. And most certainly, this person would take a few days off from working out.  But I am not normal or sane. I am runnerchica, for God’s sake. This chica has to keep going, right?

So, cutting to the chase, I did not take it easy, and it is now thirteen days later. As I type, I am icing my ankle. The run this a.m. puffed it out a little. I’m not sure if this is normal, still having a puffy ankle after two plus weeks. So, naturally, I’m a little discouraged and fearful that this injury may affect the marathon I was planning to run on October 19.

I was thinking of this today when I got a call from my sister.  My sister had just visited my godmother, who has an inoperable brain tumor. She is still with-it, can talk, be at home… yet she knows she has weeks, maybe a month or two to live. To live. Her children are rallying around her, coming home as much as they can to visit her. They all know what is to come, and there is nothing they can do about it.

Thinking of this, I look again at my ankle. It is still puffy. Yet suddenly I feel bad for #1 not taking care of something that is fixable (by being sensible) and #2 being upset because it might interrupt my recreational running schedule. It seems pretty ridiculous when you look at it this way.

It makes me realize that in this world of many things being out of control, we do have control of some things. We can quit smoking, work less, lose weight, change our diets, spend more time with our families. We can choose to take care of an injury or sickness in the beginning stages when we realize something’s not right. We don’t have to work like a dog when we have a cold or the flu.

When we look at these simple things we can do- just by putting forth a little extra effort or common sense- it certainly puts thing in perspective, showing us how those simple solutions are right in front of us. It also shows us how we need to consider things in the appropriate light- there are plenty of things that we can complain about each day. Plenty of annoyances and interruptions that threaten to “ruin” the perfect plans we had. Yet, let’s not forget that most of the time, these annoyances are pretty minor.

Why let them ruin what could be much happier days? We know the other side of the coin is always out there, dealing us a much worse scenario. When you think of it that way, I’d take a sprained ankle any day.

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