Tag Archives: Broken Ankle

Barrier Break


A year and a half ago my life changed when I fell backwards on the skateboard and my foot got caught in the back of my other leg just before my bodyweight came crashing down on it and I broke my ankle.  My life changed just because I wanted to have fun, just because I desired to take risk, just because I desired to feel emancipated.  I made a choice despite peer pressure.  I made a choice despite my beginner status.  I made a choice because of adrenaline because of confidence and that single moment changed my life in a nanosecond.

After the cast, wheelchair, crutches and learning how to walk all over again I became afraid of everything from tying my sneakers to going outside.  I also didn’t like anyone.  I felt I couldn’t relate anymore with others.  The people who I thought would be there when the chips were down weren’t even there.  So I kept myself in isolation because this felt easiest.  I wasn’t feeling the world.  During the process I questioned the world.  I debated on my entire existence.  I no longer identified with the biggest part of my life – fitness.  I only identified with healing and recovery.

So I became afraid of everything living in a repeated trauma.  The body is an amazing machine.  Still, the psychological portion is where my issue exists.  For a good amount of time I didn’t want to walk on my crutches from fear of injuring and falling again.  After the cast came off and I could walk without an extreme limp I had the problem of wanting to step in the shower because I could slip in there too.  To this day I fight through many different mental and physical barriers.  I tell myself, “I’m a warrior.  I’m fine.  I can do this.  Everything will be okay.”

But no matter how wintry or full of spring it is, going outside is another battle because stepping on or stepping off the curb sends an apprehensive trigger within.  Then in a split second an image appears with a thousand ankles all lined diagonal breaking at the same time and the bones make a big sharp crunch sound.  This is where I remain frozen.  I get lightheaded.  I feel the panic and anxiety creeping like mad ants throughout my entire body.  I stand on the sidewalk like a lost little lamb trying to hide my terror from everyone outside.  I stand under the shade for 5-20 minutes or find the nearest bench I can sit and rely on.  I try to shake it out my head like it’s the nightmare it has been for over a year plus but it’s painfully difficult.  I wonder when these fears and worries will take flight?

Time, strength, online friends, partner support and my current therapist have been by my side.  I had to break wall after concrete wall in order to get to an elevated place.  What I learned is recovery comes in different stages.  Healing takes forever and a day even with positive self-talk.  Now I have to push through a new obstacle – one I used to love doing actually – riding a bike.  Before the accident I remembered loving to cycle.  I remembered the feeling of the wind giving me foreplay all over my body with its soft breeze.  I remembered feeling like a madwoman cycling and eating down bridge after bridge like some sort of luxury freedom like a huge accomplishment.

But now I’m scared.  Once again mental preparation becomes my only way through.  Like everything else, I’ve come very far, and baby steps are how I work back to the old or with the new.

 -Pennington

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Distorted Gauge


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Since February I’ve had a pattern of working out straight for 2 weeks (multiple workouts) and the next 2 weeks I’ll idly be standing by wishing hard on a star that I could unearth the motivation I require to make muscle gains and decrease body weight/bodyfat – as well as gaining that feeling of being normal again (after breaking my ankle) while increasing my sexiness also.

Fast-forward to May I made my debut in the gym 9 months later.  I thought being at my second home would give me all the motivation I needed – that being around the energy of like-minded folks would get my desire burning high.  But the truth is most of those folks in the gym wouldn’t know what it’s like to be me.  And currently speaking, I’m not sure what it’s fully like to be me anymore.  I’ve been transitioning into the unknown on a myriad trip.

Ever since I broke my ankle, my existence has changed.  Everything has become distorted, painful, effervescent, unique, spiritual or unidentified.  I still have complications, and I must obtain a second and third opinion from new surgeons, in order to gain some knowledge, so things are less unknown.

However, things have changed rapidly, and now I can set up back in the gym, but I’m intimidated simply by stepping on the elliptical machine, even though I force myself, so I don’t look like a scared cat in front of others.  Aside from the intimidation, I have constant shooting pains in my foot and they go upwards and I visualize these pains as shooting stars that go into the cosmos of my calves – and I wonder why I’m in a gym at all? And one glance at the chin up assisted machine and it looks like a skyscraper both mentally and physically – how am I to climb it without being frighten on the descending part for I can slip and break my ankle again?

I feel the anxiety of nerves freeze me in place in the center of the gym and I hope nobody notices my own little drama and sense of defeat.  I hope no one notices and this is why I cover myself with an overbearing hoodie to hide behind.  I’m overweight by my standards and I don’t know how I’m not myself anymore?  I am not the gym rat I used to know.  And should I be this gym obsessed person just because I’ve been one for over a decade?  Should I act as if nothing changed when everything changed in my life?  Or should I act as if everything changed as it did and proceed accordingly?

The next month I wrestled with doubling and tripling workouts in a single day at the gym despite my innermost disruptive sentiments.  I wanted to believe I can work through this by moving forward and forcing myself on these machines that used to be my favorite friends.  I do what common people do and bring guests with me so we can workout for the purpose of keeping accountable and motivated.  Well, I burned myself out in a month and a half.  I believe I did this subconsciously until the real answer tore from its denial system and decided to surface: I disliked going to the gym.

There are things I can’t do at the moment that I miss so much like Walking Lunges or Single Stiff-Legged Deadlifts. I can’t bend my foot in half without my arch giving way to a pain quite massive that I lose all hope in working out at all.  I don’t have the balance to stay on one foot for more than 20 seconds on a good day.  And I do focus on all the things I could do like push ups, shoulder presses, seated rows and such, but not even this keeps me motivated.  The next month in the middle of June I told all my guests I can no longer go to the gym 5-6 times a week which includes the multiple sessions in a day.  I’m breaking up with the gym for a little while.  I can probably go once or twice a week on the days where my mood is as bright as the sun.  I need a mental and physical breakthrough, and until this time comes I’ve changed gears.

Now I’m back at home with workouts.  I don’t have to hide from anyone, but myself (at times).  I feel freer and am creative with the dumbbells and barbell I have at home.  I pressure myself less on who I used to be since I’m not that person in and out the gym right now.  I have different goals, and one starts with the shape of my mentality.  Side notes consist of:  Taking turns doing multiple sessions in a single day from Wii Fit, fitness DVD’s and writing my own strength-training programs.  Home workouts seem to be more intense especially when mixed with less rest time.

One day I can go hard on my body, whether it is my Legs or Yoga, and the next day I have to pull back the reigns because the sour pain in my ankle won’t let up.  It all becomes about creating balance.  It all becomes about my preparation now for when I do go back to the gym with a body and mind-frame that would be better than even the person I used to know.  I’m a different person now, and this is a fact.  I have a different body now – another fact.  And what remains is that I’m just in the midst of trying to figure everything out in the meantime.

To be continued.. work in progress.

-Pennington

What Does Fitness Mean to You?


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Fitness is a big part of who I am. Regardless if I get some things right (training/mentality) and some things wrong (like nutrition or life’s hindrances) fitness is who I choose to be day in and day out. I understand fitness as work of continual progress. And because of this simple fact, fitness allows definite opportunities and rejuvenated methods to perpetually update the new you starting from the inside out or from the crown down. What is there not to love about that?

I see Fitness in everything I do from skipping the elevator and taking the stairs, to not having that second serving of pasta to practicing discipline when it matters most. Last year, and still to this day, it’s been a long journey for me. The old ways of motivation doesn’t work for me nowadays. I’m constantly battling against will, cautiousness and pain since my ankle isn’t 100% healed and I’m unclear if it’ll ever be. This will not stop me.

Fitness, time and time again has gotten me through many difficult moments from the death of relationships to anger management and iron therapy. And as long as I keep my head vibrant, my attitude with positive light, my heart full of grace, my training philosophy strong as a bull, and Gods intuition over my being — Fitness will never ever steer me wrong. I’m currently redefining every aspect of my life from love, friendships and spirituality to anything regarding fitness.

What does fitness mean to you? 🙂

-Pennington

Unnecessary Selfishness


abstract-woman-femile-girl-art--fall-amy-giacomelli I speak the only way I know how – from the heart.

I’ll never forget how you left me solid cold at one of the hardest times of my life.  I’ll never forget how you made everything about you when I was the one suffering from a broken ankle with no income and wondering where I was going to live.  I’ll never forget how all those rare moments you sat by my side like when my mother died and you were just a body, never really there – on your phone all day disrespecting us at her wake.  You were just a body, and so was I.  I was your masturbation device for years, but we did start with love once upon a time – and this is still up for debate.

I’ll never forget the time when life brought to my attention how heartless you were – waiting at the clinic with me to have an abortion.  And all you complained about was lack of sleep, yet I was faced with the decision of having a gargantuan life force taken out of me.  And when we went back to my house, there was no mention of how I felt from what I had to do for the second time in my life.  The truth is:  You went right to sleep as if nothing happened because it didn’t happen to you.  I’ll never forget about the first abortion either because you weren’t there when you could have taken the day off work to be with me.  The truth again:  You didn’t want to be there, and this was evident by the second experience.  I’ll never forget how you made all my problems into something that was never yours to support or deal with.

Thank you for showing me how love was never meant to feel.  Thank you for never being my rock and for never taking on anything you didn’t want to handle – at least this last part you were honest about.  Thank you for letting me know that sex was the thing that kept you going and that you didn’t mind taking over and over again.  Thank you for never protecting me in the ways I should have been.  Thank you for never treating me like royalty.  Thank you for your unnecessary amounts of selfishness.  Thank you for showing me when it was time to walk out.  Without this – I would’ve kept thinking this kind of love was normal, but it wasn’t love, and this behavior wasn’t normal in itself.  Thank you.  I’m at a better place now and in the care of a profound love.

-Pennington

Vital Home


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I stretch long and strong and wide like a rainbow.  I have my colors back from my fair complexion – and the ones I deem underneath my skin – muscles.  I bask once again in the glory of my religion at the gym; eight months later after being snatch up from a break and fall accident.  I’m finally home.  And I welcome myself back with the eyes and psyche of a new foundation and fresh perspective that glitters like gold from the inside out with positivity and nourishment that stems from redefining everything in my life.

It’s been a long while – shy of four months to make a full year.  But now, I’m in my happy place where endorphins give way to my bipolar lows so I can obtain a high again.  The gym is where I center myself, where I create the magic concoction to establish balance and management of my historic chemical imbalances.  It’s where I get to feel the rush of heat on my chubby cheeks and where I get to unleash my every day aggression.  It’s where I thrive on the blood that swirls in burn and ache in every direction from the temple of my body and mind.

I’m once again grateful for all the higher powers that be for allowing me to feel my muscles with hurt on every movement I push without limits.  I enjoy each turn as I wince out of delight from a rotation where my oblique contracts and I involve myself in the flashback of yesterday:  Engaging full integrity on a few hours of work.  Because for a while I forgot how soreness felt.  I forgot about the subtle peaks in muscles.  I forgot about the way those peaks slowly raise with fever over the course of the night and the next forty-eight hours heavy with temper – delayed onset muscular soreness.

The truth is:  I can live with every part of my body given to the brutal pain of a committed lift.  I can dedicate my entire life to infinite repetitions.  I can die happy on my last breath being exerted against the resistance of iron, and the cerebral connection vital for my mental, spiritual and emotional therapy.  I mean, after all is said and done, the gym is a home dedicated to self-love, despite the general mundane (and sometimes) pieces of a day to day.  This is where my importance lies and one of the many things that gives my life character, spirit, purpose and beauty.

-Pennington

ORIF


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Finding the right physical therapist took a lot of time, which set me back just like finding the right surgeon (and personally I think he did a fine job and I want to get him and his staff a box of chocolates – is this too intimate?). Thank the Lord!

It seems like the second time was the charm of these circumstances. And I’m just happy enough to identify the madness and to be given the tiny miracle of opportunity to change things as soon as I can. It’s been a total of eight weeks (maybe more?) and everything still feels crazy to me.

The first real therapy session – mind you aggressive! – has actually set me to a default of the first stage of grief (for some): Shock! I was zombiefied after the session. And although I’ve been doing my own research and physical therapy work at home, I felt like one of those gym people who only perform 15 minutes of cardio and 15 minutes of strength-training and for them that was the hard part besides finding the nerve to get to the gym.

But more than that is how these people tend to LOVE the SHIT out of the stretching part of the workout session. You could see the joy plastered on their faces. It’s almost disgusting!  Nevertheless, it’s how I felt when the therapy session was over. No more pain from a stranger. No more looking like a fucking noob. No more wallowing. The massage and ice afterwards felt golden. It was the best part besides feeling like a 2 year old and taking my first steps with a walker. But then, the shock hit me on the way home.

Sighs.

I felt lost in a sky like the toddler who let go a second too soon because he doesn’t know any better – he hasn’t grown into life yet. Or like the lady floating on her own balloon in the picture above – not sure where she’s going? (Where am I traveling to?)

So, what is ORIF anyway? It’s a Fracture Fibula – Open Reduction Internal Fixation! Fixation, eh? I’m certainly fixated on this current situation – so much so I feel like a hot mess, like a pair of 10 year old sneakers, abused and neglected that can be found in a corner of a gym.

Okay, so I’m making gains, progressing like the way a slug does all the while looking back somewhat. I’m stuck in a very past-present condition. I’d love to put this all behind me, however I have to learn life lessons and look at the bigger picture of several things and get this balloon of the unknown off of me so I can feel somewhat normal and like I’m back in my element. I’m tired of floating. I don’t like the feeling of limbo.

And if anyone tells me to get the fuck over this, not only will I smack them with a fucking dumbbell – I’ll display the video of my surgery and in the process break their fucking ankle. Kidding! Almost. 😉

-Pennington

Coincidence In Pending


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You were clearing out a drawer for my trivial belongings. I was spending a lot of lovely days and nights in your apartment. Casual-friendly you offered me the key to your place. I was taken aback, and although I didn’t give an answer at this time, I understood why you had asked. I was leaving clothing behind and even left shower slippers. And you even went on to buy me tank-tops, a big package of shower caps and a purple toothbrush.

I know how it looked like to the critics outside. I know what your friends say about the privileges you were giving me. I know my friends reacted as if you were making me into your live-in wife. I remembered when you came with me to visit my ill mother – it was your idea – and she told me and you at separate times how much you adore me. Only a few knew we didn’t sleep in the same bed.

However, we knew the truth. We were friends. We drank coffee all day and ate all night. We rode local streets to the gym and bridges on hefty bikes. We rode the pale white of the moon. We rode the orange out of the sun. We were two loners coming together to feed the soul of one another. And in a single moment of fun, and of building memories – a happy accident occurred.

The skateboard slipped from under me quick as an apparition. My foot became caught underneath my bodyweight on the other foot and as I fell backwards I heard a pop that came from my ankle. I felt something in my lower leg shift out of place just when the whole world went mute. I knew I couldn’t get up and walk away from this. And if I may add – the sudden anger which consumed me at the price I paid for fun.

It didn’t seem like coincidence anymore. Not the DVD player I brought over a few weeks prior nor the brand new shoes I bought and never wore. They stood in your apartment, ready and waiting, just like the drawers. One empty drawer came to be three and an entire closet too with shelves made its home available to me. Now I had the key to your apartment and the key to your bedroom without any of us asking the other. I have night tables by my side filled with poetry books, vitamins, foot powder and other personal items. Everything was in pending and now we sleep on the same bed.

Who knew I was going to need major assistance with my broken ankle and surgery. Who could have predicted I wouldn’t be going back to my place because of old buildings and their beliefs of zero elevators. Who knew that the friend I became close with these past years who was my manager a decade ago – would be the bestest person to care for me as if I were one of his children.

-Pennington

Different Stages Of Foot Pain


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There’s a lot of reflections occurring between last week and this week, so expect more writing about my foot until I get to really weightlifting again. I believe these reflections are due to the realization that I may indeed receive a walking boot after they saw off this cast of mine next week. And although I’m grateful for all the help from everyone (on and offline), which includes powerful words, a place to stay, mantras, support, comfort and such – there’s still a part of me that isn’t entirely happy…yet.

There’s also a part of me that can’t be happy about the thought of using my foot again no matter how small it may be because it’s hard to believe. I’ll be a week shy from a full 2 months since this fibula fracture occurred. Time breezes.. but not when you feel isolated from the world and not when you feel like your independence is on hold and not when you’re dying to feel the full adrenaline rush that only the gym can provide.

I’ll soon be headed for another type of pain I once again am not looking forward to: Learning how to use my ankle, learning how to put weight on my foot and learning the steps on how to gain full mobility again. And I’m not sure how long it’ll be aside from the surgeon who claims it’ll take a few months and by a few months he means March.

So, although, again I’m grateful, I still feel like I have a long way to go. And sure, it may not be true. But I also don’t want to get my hopes high only to fall in a bottomless pit of infinite depression and disappointment later. In the meantime, I want to make sure I’m writing down all these stages for remembrance among other things to come.

Here’s the start of it: Before surgery I had foot pain that wouldn’t quit – partly because my ankle was fucked and partly because the emergency room I visited that night thought I was an animal off the street possibly and decided to put my broken ankle in a wet splint where they practically kicked me out the attending room before it was even remotely dry. So every day after that for two whole weeks my splint shifted differently making balancing extremely painful. 

And for those 2 weeks I was being given the run around due to private and public insurance, getting referrals, fighting with the middle man for the delivery of my wheelchair, and dealing with waiting lists, until my good friend worked his magic where my surgeon’s secretary squeezed me to get surgery because time was running out and as the more time went on the more fucked my ankle would have been.

But for those 2 weeks before surgery everything was horrible as there was increasing pain each day in my foot. I felt the splint jab deeply into my ankle bones, mostly on the outer side that sometimes felt crippling to the rest of my body. I took some pain medication, but nothing besides over the counter stuff because I knew the closer surgery came the chances of me taking something stronger later. And I fear of ever becoming a drug addict because I seen my mother be a really good one and recovered far too late in her life. And let’s be realistic, who wants to commit the same family patterns and dilemmas?

Besides the jabbing pain in my ankle bone that shot straight up my leg, my foot was swollen as if someone dropped a iron mallet on it – so most times my foot felt compressed and along the way I was being driven mad mentally. At all times my foot had to be elevated because that’s the only relief I had aside from music, reading and writing. (Okay and maybe Wendy Williams.) The last type of foot pain before surgery was just how mushed together my toes were – a vision sprouted in my brain of multiple garden snakes chokeholding my toes and I wondered: if I could ever use my tiny little piglets again.

After surgery I did my best to document my foot pain in a list of stages I experienced because I wanted to be familiar with all the different pains. I also have this thing where I enjoy analyzing body pain – it’s one reason pain is tattooed on my forearm, however with analyzing pain means bringing more pain to oneself. Good thing I braced myself and was ready.

I guess one has to not only be afraid of pain, but actually enjoy it to an extent. Still, I wanted to be in tune with my body and I wanted to listen to what it was saying to me. This was definitely an experience and still is. Here’s the list:

1. Lazer pain on the left side of inner ankle bone. Dull pain on the right outer ankle bone.

1st week: The fresh Lazer pain was from the surgeon having to open the other side of my ankle (the inner left part). This pain felt new, razor-sharp and super fresh. The right outer ankle bone was dull with pain because as I said 2 weeks before surgery the splint would dig in there with a dull knife which I became used to.

2. Pressure-pain

2nd Week: I assume this was from the combination of nerves, blood, fragments being fixed and everything having been manipulated while I was asleep on the operating platter.

3. Swollen pain

2-5 Week: The obvious, blood rushing through the foot and blowing up like a fat fish.

4. Muscle spasms in calve, foot and toes

3-4 Week: The inactivity was killing me here and the lack of blood circulation too.

During this time I OD’d on vitamins, potassium and lots of water. It seemed to work at moments. But to really fix this situation, what I did was stand up on 1 leg for a 1-2 minutes at a time and allowed even more blood to flow and despite how painful it was it provided relief.

5. Foot feeling warm as if someone is putting warm water over my cast

Week 4-5: From my understanding they claim this may happen when nerves are compressed. Also this feeling can be due to muscle inactivity and lack of circulation.

I found the warm feeling however to be a form of healing, as my foot felt so good during this time. It felt more like a body-spiritual experience.

6. Foot hurting in the back of my ankle

Week 5-7: Just elevated my foot for long periods of time. I didn’t find any concrete evidence on what causes this.

7. Tiny click that goes on/off somewhere in the ankle, I think on the right side when I moved my knee or foot to move, whether it was to get out of bed or holding my leg up, etc.

Week 3-4: Also not sure what caused this. The good thing is it went away.

8. Toes became white due to lack of circulation. Tingle, pin/needle sensations as if my foot was asleep. Toes felt super cold.

Week 4-5: It felt like drama, like death. Also claims lack of muscle inactivity and loss of blood circulation.

9. Knee hurting.

Week 5-6: I assume lack of knee movement and the way in which the hard cast pulls on it. I decided to start light stretching and move it a few times throughout the day.

10. Bottom of heel hurting as if I’m stepping and digging onto a hard pebble and am rolling on it like a pin.

Week 5-6: Feels like intense drama. Not sure what caused it. Foot in elevation mode.

11. Compression pain

Week 4-7: It feels like a person is taking their hands and trying to make my foot small by compressing and squashing the crap out of it. This feeling is odd and it’s very uncomfortable. Medication doesn’t heal it, therefore I just assume it’s a part of the body healing on its own.

I can only hope that this could be beneficial to someone who ever has to go through this in some way as a form of what to expect pain wise. I remember searching for a weekly stage of what I’ll be going through with this ankle/foot of mine and only remember seeing people speaking of muscle cramps within the 3rd-6th week. That wasn’t enough, so I documented what I could and slightly researched after to make sure I wasn’t the only one who felt such pain or try and find out about nerves, Fibula Fracture, etc.

I had written enough. Originally I wanted to write about how I overcame the pain, pressure and swollen crap, but I thought to document and reflect with the world of my blog. To be continued with my body challenge of the month and how I coped with getting out of the stages of pain.

-Pennington

I’ll Remember You Three


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I’ll remember you as cold and typically distant, there in body – not in spirit, on your phone nonstop, barely a spoken word, tiny complaints, annoyed facial expressions, being passive, sex on the forefront of the mind, in and out menial conversations, game apps, assisting me and the folding of my wheelchair, zero mantra of hope, making me sandwiches and fetching cups of orange juice, implying I may not be in as much pain as I seem, comfort in the back of the car when the wind directed my flowing tears after leaving my mother’s burial, sharing a cab ride, and a cracked joke about my mom on her way to heaven asking for a cigarette.

I’ll remember you as a selfish bitch, grieving inwardly and out, unconcerned when it came to everyone else, money-seeking cuntbag, couldn’t carry out a sister’s dying wish of cremation, head out in the clouds of complete nothingness, forgotten identification card, planning a memorial for death as a healthy outlet, taking time off work to eat like a greedy hog who’s content to be lazy, judging others, caring for nonsense drama like a half-sister threatening you with words on Facebook and sending me on my way with one-hundred dollars and bags of brand new clothing.

I’ll remember you as a developing friend who became my good friend, who redirected his attraction to me so we can be platonic, who wanted to represent something new and different in my life, as the one who cared for me with warm compresses, tending to my cyst, having meals prepared along with home accommodations so I can maneuver around the house with a broken ankle, who gave me poetry every day of light and love, hands of great passion which caressed my face and taught me about warmth I have missed, who visited my dying mother along with me because you felt, more than I that it was significant.

-Pennington

That Crutch Life


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Six screws and a plate later. Yes, to actual x-rays before my surgery roughly a week ago. What horror! Anyhow…

It’s interesting how an injured, and a very broken ankle changes your perspective on just about everything. Like how it’s possible to be afraid to come outside after this type of freaky incident. Or how I won’t risk taking a bath/shower with a bag over my hard cast for fear of infection – so I stick with cloth baths. To be honest, I can’t even count all the ways yet, but for the moment these are my current reflections.

I now think about a road map of the easiest access with the least amount of distance and body trouble. I think about what libraries have full wheelchair accessibility and what streets have the least amount of bumps and cracks. I think about how bad the weather is going to be, what big pants can I wear, and if the supermarket has big aisles for me to wheel myself around in.

I now check other people out who are in wheelchairs and I remember every single person I’ve ever encountered in my every day life or those who came to the gyms I worked or I’ve trained at. I made sure I complimented those who worked out with splints, crutches and wheelchairs because I’d imagine it would be one of the hardest things to do in life. So, it’s interesting to be on the other side of it – and I was right – it’s one of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with, and I mean this in terms of the mental aspect.

I never thought shit like this would happen to me and I’ve been going through (is it possible?) my 5 stages of grief in my own way with this Crutch Life. Related: I had so many different plans, started a new job, about to start another semester of school – among other things and life kind of robbed me and for some reason unbeknownst to me has me sitting put on the bench. Probably because there’s something greater coming my way – gasp – I hope! Life – my ambiguous teacher.

Lately, I flip flop between emotions. I can’t stick to one: Sometimes I think yes I’m glad I wanted to practice longboarding and it’s the chances one takes in life that makes you feel fully alive. Or on the flip side, fear is an indicator to keep you safe and perhaps I should have listened to my initial gut so I can continue to keep a short regret list in my life. I’m now fearful of skateboards and longboards apparently. I was even scared to come outside for fear of falling down again and this time completely breaking my ankle off. The struggle of imagination is real my friends and I’ve been flirting on the line of post traumatic stress disorder.

I’m now both embarrassed and humiliated when I go outside (mind you I’ve been camping out at a friend’s house, far away from where I live to avoid further embarrassment/shame – and yes it’s fucking stupid I think like this) and crutch slower than an elderly who panics at the sight of ongoing traffic. I hang my head low and I chew on my bottom lip as if I defeat myself with every crutch-step I take, counting them like reps, pausing when there’s not enough gas in my system with sweat thrown at the back of my neck because holding my injured leg up and out in front of me kills my hip flexor and the healthy leg/foot screams at the amount of work it needs to do just to keep the rest of my 185lb body afloat.

It’s really interesting how having crutches changes your world. I’m not sure what’s more interesting, the strangers who offer their shoulder to replace my crutches or the people who have a deep sadness in their eyes and tell me about the time when they had their injury and they know just how hard it is to be on crutches and they’re very sorry I have to go through this. Or those other strangers who don’t care and ignore you completely whether its because they believe injuries and crutches are contagious or just because (insert whatever here).

I made use of a sliding technique involving my foot as hopping on one leg has been dreadful ever since the surgery. But I get enough internal and external rotation from this like one wouldn’t believe. Thank the Lord for the sliding and twisting technique. Thank the Lord for my having actually being faithful to my training as I wouldn’t know how I would’ve push through exhaustion or know what to do when my body wants to cramp up and spasm. All those single-leg exercises came in handy and who knew I would live through a time when it’s critically needed.

As for the medicated life, it has been a small type of hell. I had the doctor switch me from one pill to another pill because I’m not a drug addict (don’t intend to be either) and I don’t need strong stuff, plus I don’t need to vomit the entire day for the next few months. I’ll take the pain just like the word pain tattooed on my arm. Thank you. Still, the medication screws with my taste buds and they have also made me constipated to the point where I give birth and my rosebud goes numb from the excruciating pain of widening to three times its size. I’m still hurt.

I don’t groom nowadays. I wear no make up. My eyebrows are growing in and they seem to bring back the nostalgic days of being in elementary school and not knowing what to do with eyebrow thickness. The truth is though, I don’t look in the mirror anymore. I’m more selfless than ever before. But I’ll make sure to make it a point to paint my nails because colors brighten my fucking day – and I need my fucking day brighten now more than ever!

Have I mentioned how bitter I am towards certain people? People speak from a place usually without knowing how you or they would feel or think in this situation. So, so far I think the biggest lie and shitty advice anyone has given me is: “You’ll be extra grateful for having your broken ankle after the fact.” Really? How fucking so? I’ve been grateful before the injury. One reason why I’m a gym rat and why I weightlift is because I have limbs. I should put my entire body to use. But these people, these people speak from an unknown place. They speak without considering that they don’t gym it. The use and extent of their ankle is only going to and from work – and don’t get me started on if they have a sitting down job! So telling me or anyone else whose injured they’ll be extra grateful, I don’t see the purpose in saying this, unless the desire was to insult.

Also to point out, it’s difficult for me to eat my pride and even harder for me to allow others to take care of me. It’s hard for me to sit back and be okay with being vulnerable. It’s hard to ask another for anything, hard to be dependent and it’s also hard to inconvenience someone else at my expense, even when they don’t mind.

I haven’t even touched how I feel about taking time off from the gym because it would depress the fuck out if me if I sat down and really thought about it. In any event, right now I’m taking it one day at a time. That Crutch life!

-Pennington