Broken bones and breaking a pattern

Just under two weeks ago I turned 27 and just over a week ago I broke my foot. The two aren’t related and yet it seems oddly coincidental that the two events should fall but a week apart.

Before my Birthday I had been on a mad mission to accomplish as much as was humanly possible. To spur me on, I had decided upon things I wanted to do before my Birthday. I was so wrapped up in getting it all done and setting myself targets, it started to sound like there was no life beyond my Birthday. My aims began to sound like a bucket list. I did adjust some of my plans, for example, I had wanted to do the Three Peaks before my Birthday but for one reason or another it didn’t look like it would happen by then, so I set my aim to have them all done by the end of the year. I have done Scafell Pike. Now I have a broken foot it is unlikely that I will manage Snowdon and Ben Nevis before the end of the year; I am out of action until the end of November. This does not make me happy.

Having been roaring full pelt towards my goals I am now feeling a little lost and sorry for myself. This is where I must break the pattern. When bad things happen to me, my tendency is to feel it is all my fault; what a stupid person I am; maybe I did it on purpose just so I could wallow and feel sorry for myself; an excuse to feed the ever-present critter of depression that is so eager to come back and take residence, sucking all it can until there is nothing left to do but sit and catastrophise about everything from the consequences of which washing-up liquid I buy to the cataclysmic wrong-doing I can create by merely answering the phone…

Stop! It was an accident, I in no way purposly broke my foot… Why would I? I have rekindled my love for climbing hills, I have found running and it makes me so happy; both activities require non-broken feet. This is the real sense of my sorrow. I have been put out of action for eight weeks (now seven). My initial reaction was to wallow… this involved much food.

A good friend came round on day one with some painkillers for me. She also brought her beautiful five month old baby girl and some goodies. If the baby wasn’t enough to cheer me up, then the feast of proper coffee and muffins for morning tea was to put me well on my way. She also left me with bagels, smoked salmon and cream cheese. This is a combination (as she knows very well) that brings back so many happy memories. It is my special occasion breakfast. However, this is no special occasion. Sitting at the kitchen table, making my bagel, putting it in a tupperware and transporting it upstairs in the pouch of my old University hoodie, it wasn’t so much an occasion as a feat of endurance. Eating the bagel at the end of it, made it worth while.

Negotiating crutches and a temporary cast is no easy feat. My house is split over a number of levels- which means lots of stairs. As tiring as it is, I must keep telling myself that it must be doing something for my upper-body strength. I am also thanking ‘past’ me for already having lost two and a half stones; to carry that around with only the strength of my arms, I dread to think how much worse it could’ve been.

I have had the cast removed and a boot fitted now. It is easier to manouvre and I can hop without the jarring weight of plaster baring down on the side of my foot next to the fracture. While, more mobile than I was, there is a vulnerability that comes with injury. Simple things we take for granted become a planned operation, often requiring help. I am good at planning, I am not very good at asking for help. This is where I realise what wonderful friends I have. Without prompt, they have arrived, brought me victuals, made me tea and transported me to appointments. I am very lucky to know so many people that are talented in so many different ways. From the home baking to the homeopathic remedies they have all bases covered. The one base I need to pay more attention is my mind, and to where I let it wander… For the moment it is wandering in search of a marathon to aim for once I am recovered. And, of course, rearranging when to climb Snowdon and Ben Nevis.