I ate my cereal in a seated position for the first time in days. The sloppy mess I made on my first day of trying to hop the bowl over to the table turned me off of that challenge. I had become content to instead simply stand where the meal was prepared, directly above the dishwasher I hovered eating my breakfast every morning.
But today I wanted to sit. So I slid the bowl over to the table inch by inch, went back for my cup of water, and repeated. I am really tired of this. On crutches I have no hands, with no hands I cannot carry anything. Without being able to carry anything, pretty much everything is in the same spot it was the day I sprained my ankle.
I am looking out on the valley sitting below Blacksburg and the mountains that surround it. The north facing peaks glisten with morning frost while the southern exposed slopes are dry and dark. Last night was an amazingly beautiful night. The clouds streaked across the sky and the full moon shone through the gaps. The snow blew horizontally and shimmered in the brightest darkness I have ever seen.
This morning, the snow zips past my sight in the irregular currents flowing around the complex of condos. In the distance, though, it settles like fine down in a soft breeze. But around me the snow jets to and fro like flies at sunset on a summer evening.
A few minutes ago as I was pulling the cereal from my pantry, my alarm upstairs went off. I had risen earlier than I had expected and forgot to turn it off before I came down. Usually this is a small hassle. Today, however, I mumbled curses under my breath and made the trek back up the stairs.
Frustration is the only word to describe this. This injury seems so minor to me but is so debilitating. I had set myself up for failure the instant I had sprained my ankle. I had kept the competitive drive that had gotten me to where I was. But I cannot keep that now. I’ve got to accept injury and embrace it, accept I will not be quite as fast as I would have been had I been 100%, and fight to be healed and faster than ever by Collegiate Nationals.
As of now, my race on March 5th probably is not worth the expense. But nationals is distant enough that a successful race is quite attainable. Crutches for ten more days, biking in ten more days, swimming tomorrow, running and biking hard in 4 weeks, normal in 6 weeks.
I guess if I want to live hard, if I want to use my body for what it is made for then I must suffer the consequences of the accumulating copays and time for rest. For comfort I seek the words of Lao Tzu: “There is a time for being in motion, and a time for being at rest; a time for being vigorous, a time for being exhausted.” I should not have been running on trails in that state of fatigue. That was stupid and is a mistake I will never repeat. But the lesson is learned and may be a lesson I would not have learned otherwise.