Day 1:

Saturday, the 4th

My physical fitness level waxes and wanes. I only started putting an effort into it about four years ago when I went, as I put it, from zero to “Insanity”. I had no fitness regimen to speak of, so naturally I decided to jump right into a hardcore program not knowing what to expect. I was determined to finish, and ultimately claimed victory. I even got the t-shirt to prove it. This started my pattern of “a few weeks on, a few weeks off”, where most of the “on” weeks were spent taking adult fitness classes at the studio where my daughter used to practice martial arts. After more than a year off, I was heading in the direction of doing a couple classes a week there again. I did one this past Wednesday and felt surprising good, considering how long I’d been away. I was invited to come back for a special class Saturday. Even though Saturdays are my only days off (I hike on Sundays, duh.), I rode the good feelings from Wednesday and figured getting back into shape could only be an asset to my hikes. Things did not go as I planned.

There’s not a lot I can do to set up how it happened, because it was only about 5 or 10 minutes into the warm-up. We did a little running around. Some high knees. Some butt-kickers. I thought to myself: “I should take my shoes off. I always regret wearing shoes when I work out.” We did a drill where we had to run forward a bit, then run backwards, then forward a bit more, back and forth until we made it to the other side. I ran forward, ran backwards. Ran forward a bit more, ran backwards. Ran forwards a bit more, ran ba—ooh, that didn’t feel right. My left foot didn’t move like it should have. I heard and felt my whole mid-foot, from below my toes through the arch, snap, crackle, and pop. Like twisting a piece of bubble wrap, only way less fun. It didn’t hurt right away, but I knew something not-good just happened. I turned back without finishing the drill, and the pain quickly started creeping in, growing with every step. I made my way to the bench and they gave me an ice pack. I began unlacing my stupid shoe and could already feel the top of my foot getting more sensitive. I hurt to take my shoe off 😦

The next hour was rough. Even though my foot wasn’t very visibly injured, just some slight swelling, I knew something was wrong, especially since as more time went by, it felt worse instead of better. I thought about driving myself to Urgent Care, but there was no way in hell my foot could bear any kind of weight. I know, I tried. I started trying to get a hold of Chris to pick me up, knowing he was at the office, most likely with clients. I kept my foot propped up on the bench and kept icing it, while the class went on around me. The pain began driving me to tears. I generally try to not cry when in pain, because crying seems like a form of complaining, and I’m always being told that all I do is complain. This is the same reason I try not to ask for help, it feels like I’m complaining that I can’t do it myself. So even though I had two different ladies offer to drive me, I decided to wait it out for Chris to come. This was a dark hour for me. I also felt incredibly stupid and embarrassed. Seriously, I messed myself on the warm-up…REALLY?! There was also a dash of jealousy, having to sit and watch everyone else participate while I babied my stupid foot, and anger knowing that I wouldn’t even be able to jump in for some floor exercises. And there was so much PAIN!! Whether it was the pain, the embarrassment, or the envy, I was crying and couldn’t stop myself, though I tried my best to hide it. I was so relieved when Chris finally showed up.



I started writing that the Tuesday or Wednesday after it happened. It all seems so trivial now. I had this whole format mapped out for this entry, tracking how I got better or worse day by day. Saturday I would leave Urgent Care with a diagnosis of mid-foot sprain, a sexy cam boot and crutches. Sunday was a high pain day with lots of rest. Monday the bruises started forming. Tuesday was more x-rays. Wednesday was darker bruises. Thursday was bearing more weight on my foot, and being able to rest my bare foot on the floor in the shower, rather than propped on the edge of the tub. Friday I got the email that added “avulsion fracture” to my diagnosis. Saturday was my first real day of bed rest with no other plans in sight.

Saturday, February 11th.

No injury, no amount of pain, nothing could have prepared me for Saturday. I never saw it coming. A shining example of how quickly a single moment, a single phone call, can irrevocably destroy…you. When you learn first hand how a few simple words can literally knock the wind out of you, and you know your life will never be the same. When the boundless potential for new memories is wholly obliterated, and anything else you could have been concerned with becomes grossly insignificant. You learn that it’s possible for a piece of your heart to die, suffocated by three little words:

“Dad’s not breathing.”

Saturday was the day my dad died.

If I don’t say it, does it make it not true? If I don’t tell anyone, maybe it didn’t really happen. Maybe if I don’t publish this post, I’ll find out this was just a cruel joke or a sick dream, I just have to wait it out. I’m not ready. I’m not ready for this to be real. I’m not ready to accept what my conscious mind knows to be true. I want my dad.

So I’ll wait. Because the internet is where you can be whoever you want to be. You can pretend to be richer. You can pretend to have more friends. You can pretend to be brave. You can create a persona for the world to see, keeping them from ever knowing the real you. So I’ll wait to put this out into the world. I’ll keep this to myself for now. If I don’t tell you, it doesn’t have to be real. Not yet.

And I can hold on to my dad just a little longer.

February 14, 2017