The original badass Collier Lawrence, of #birdstrike and #steeplingLawrencesisters fame, found out in August that she had a full fracture through her navicular. With classic good humor and grace, Collier explains where she's at now and what the future could hold. Who knew an injury exposition could include so many Game of Thrones references! We salute you, Collier! [Standing and chanting, "Queen of the Desert"]
What I know:
- I broke my foot. Cracked my navicular right in half. Now I have a screw holding the two pieces together and a bone graft gluing it all together; shout out to my calcaneus for the osteoblast donation.
- Most of the advice I’ve gotten is to take this down time to embrace the slowness and relax. Do nothing is what I hear. I’ve tried to take this advice. I really have. I’ve blown through 5 seasons of Game of Thrones, a couple books, and a handful of single season shows on Netflix. I did nothing but become part of the couch for a week post surgery. However, the 21st century *philosopher*, Post Malone, was correct when he rapped “worked so hard, forgot how to vacation”. I’m on a running vacation but I’m still working. Always. There’s rehab to be done weight bearing or not. Comparing run+gym+rehab and pool+gym+rehab combos, it’s no surprise the later takes significantly more time.
- Hard is not an adjective I would use in this situation. Not running? Watching people run fast? Seeing people run period? Crutching to the pool and staring at a line of black tile every day? Showering on one foot? Asking people to take the garbage and recycling to the curb every week? I view sports as a privilege, especially the level at which I’m trying to participate. Essentially, my privilege to participate has been temporarily taken away. I’m incredibly aware of my extensive privilege in this situation and life in general. I had access to one of best, most experienced surgeons in the country. Friends and family that travelled at the drop of a hat to chauffer me to/from/after my surgery and gave me a place to stay to recover with almost no notice. Health insurance- I have that. A really nice pool I get to stare at the bottom of for who knows how long and a gym that has all the toys for recovery and rehab. Inconvenient. Ardous. Demanding. Time consuming. All synonyms for hard- I’ve had harder 6-10 week periods on two legs. In the grand scheme of things, this is the road in your neighborhood you wish the city would plow when it snows. It slows you down a little bit everyday and maybe you’re stuck at home for a few days, but you can still get stuff done. It’s just inconvenient.
What I don’t know and would like to know:
- When?! The preluding question to when is generally how, and we have a highly educated guess as to how. When you run on a stress fracture eventually you end up with just a fracture. When did I get a stress fracture? When did it shift to fracture? Was it on the third water jump in Letterkenny? The week before when I stepped in a sprinkler hole before a workout and punted the session to the next day because strides felt a little off? Walking across the pool deck in Helsinki July 15 when I distinctly remember thinking I’d just stepped on a leaf in fall? On the 40 mile mountain bike ride in the middle of August? The answer I’m looking for would be a complex combination of all those events and prior events. The lack of cut and dried would only lead me further into the maze of grey, but I still want to know.
- How’s it healing? I’m what PTs call a tester and would argue that any injured person is a tester. “...I’m just going to do one calf raise and see how it’s doing… If I put it in this position, then swing it at an outrageous speed, in a completely “normal” movement pattern that makes it hurt… I’m just going to jog across the kitchen…I’m going to jump up and down on one foot..”; you get the idea. However, I’m in a situation where testing it is not just forbidden but, forbidden in such a way that even the thought of putting my foot on the ground makes me want to instantly collapse into a heap on the floor to protect the fragile screw, bone matrix combination that’s hopefully chugging along doing its thing.
- Will I be able to run again? In spikes? In flats? Will Cersi Lannister ever reach her end game and rule the Iron Throne? When will I stop waking up in the middle of the night because my shoulders throb from swimming? Can Daenerys Targaryen settle on Mother of Dragons, the most impressive in her long list, as her official title? What will running with a screw feel like? Will that screw stay there forever? What should I name the screw? Does Jon Snow really know nothing?
I know one more thing. Your body is smart; it knows when something is wrong. My body knew it was broken. At the time it didn’t hurt. Scratch that. It did hurt, I just didn’t hurt. My body gave me all the signs it does when it is hurting and I didn’t articulate them to the outside world very well. Listen to your body. Know your body. Learn how to convey what you hear from your body.