I pulled my calf muscle at the end of September. I feel like from time to time the Universe likes to remind me that I can invest too much of my “happiness stock” into running. I am a stubborn bitch and the Universe knows this, so it can’t perform this reminder with small nagging injuries, it has to completely take me out of the game. Get me off my feet completely. Which is why in October I sprained my ankle, causing the whole of my left leg, calf down, to be purple and swollen and painful to look at and to touch. I needed to slow down, take a load off and rest. The Universe saw to it that I did.
It was a nice little break I suppose, once I switched my perspective on the whole event. I learned a lot about myself and about the experiences that life gives us.
Since I couldn’t walk my dog and play with her as much as we would have both liked, I had to find new ways to shower her with the affection that she has come to understand is our daily walks. We had a lot of problems at first. She kept trying to get out. She stopped listening to her commands. She wouldn’t stay on her rug. She was rebelling.
She can’t actually flip me off like she would like, and I can’t actually explain to her why she doesn’t get to go on a walk every day like she would like. Mesa had allowed me to wipe my tears on her fuzzy belly in the weeks before and now she couldn’t understand why I was punishing her. I realized that I had to find new ways to show her I loved her still, that I was paying attention to her. I now had to love on her extra in the mornings or at night when she was being good sitting on her rug. Her daily brushings got extended and I confided even more with her during our daily talks. She finally understood. Circumstances change. The way that you are able to love is not always consistent. The people and the things that you love will not always understand the changes. If you love well, and you love real, you will figure out a compromise. Just like Mesa and I did.
A busted ankle required a lot of icing time. More icing time that I expected. Zambia is not like America. I can’t find crutches. I can’t just sit all day, my job and this lifestyle requires movement. “A friend will help you…” doesn’t work here because friends are busy and have their own shit to do. So if I was gonna move I needed to ice. This was good for a few reasons. One, while the rest of my body was sweating away my left foot, was icy! Which was a very nice change compared to how the rest of my body was feeling during the sweltering months of October and November. Two, icing was a nice way for me to catch up on all six seasons of Sex and the City that a fellow PCV gifted me from her hard drive. In PC, when a friend can’t do something for you, you can guarantee that they can gift you something to help waste time. There is nothing PCVs are better at than wasting time. Lastly, it turns out, that my 20 minutes of icing is just about how long it takes my roommate Julie to smoke a cigarette. I would come limping into our gate after a day at work, my ankle craving the relief ice would bring and Julie would be craving the relief nicotine would give her. Together we coped and bonded. J Julie, if you’re reading this, I love sitting with you while you smoke “just one cigarette,” waiting for our conversation to turn it into three or four. Sometime you just need to stop and smell the roses, or inhale some second hand smoke.
Aside from the fact that I will not be able to run the Kilimanjaro Marathon that I was really looking forward to running this two-month break was not all bad. But I have started running again. I’ve only gone out twice, but my ankle seems to be cooperating and my spirit is soaring. I will admit that I found happiness in this break, but it is quite astounding how much happier I am when I know that running can to incorporated into my routine.