fall from grace.

two days ago i almost broke my ankle…playing disc golf.

almost is pretty subjective, i know, so i’ll set the scene and let you judge for yourselves. the course was predominantly in the woods with creeks running through practically every hole. i wasn’t wearing the correct shoes for the terrain — it was soft and wet, and i sometimes had trouble gaining traction. the particular hole where i suffered my injury was bordered by trees, and my first shot was regrettable, so i remained at the tee with another frisbee to see if i could improve my distance and control. i stepped beyond the concrete box on the throw and my front foot, my right, slid in the mud, the momentum carrying it over a railroad tie and down a small slope. i fell backwards, landing on my left leg which was bent behind me. i heard a small pop and felt the most intense pain (granted, i don’t have a lot of experience with physical pain). i couldn’t put weight on the foot, having a friend lift me and act as a crutch, assisting me to a nearby bench.

seated, i pulled back my sock hoping not to see a protruding bone. i didn’t. in time, i was able to stand and walk, with a limp, and we finished the rest of the game.

i’ve written before about my lack of health insurance, in a tongue-in-cheek manner, but, the truth is, it’s pretty inexcusable for someone of my advanced age not to be able to see a doctor. sure, it’s easy to say that i’m out of shape and that my injury was a result of lassitude, but freak accidents happen regardless of athletic ability or amount of time one spends working out. that’s what worries me the most, the fact that trauma can occur at any time and that it is not merely a symptom of poor conditioning.

for instance, wade boggs, member of the baseball hall of fame, missed a week after falling into a couch after losing his balance while attempting to put on cowboy boots. kerry wood, who once struck out twenty batters in a single game, was sidelined after slipping in a hot tub and bruising his ribs. soccer player paulo diego jumped onto a fence while celebrating a goal, catching his wedding ring upon dismounting and severing his finger (yeah, that sounds more painful than anything i did to my ankle).

glenallen hill, as a centerfielder for the toronto blue jays, had a nightmare about spiders that put him on the disabled list when, while still asleep, he bumped into a glass table and fell down a staircase in an effort to avoid the arachnids that plagued him. for the rest of his career, he was called spider-man.

i guess what i’m trying to do is caution against this feeling of invincibility we all have, as if nothing can happen to us so long as we take precautions and prepare. sure, i was likely saved from something more catastrophic by being incredibly flexible (seriously, my joints have their own joints), but i also know that, without warning, my synovial fluid will eventually dry up and that i won’t be so lucky.

i guess what i’m saying is that we (obviously i mean, i) have to make changes, not to eliminate the risk, because the threat will always exist without abatement, but to lessen the potential financial burden afterward — and also the ambulatory one, if possible.


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