Snails, Sprain, Pain, and Sloth

Over the past few weeks, I’ve started joining one of my co-workers on her lunch time walk. She’s an older middle aged woman of a heavy body type who’s recently started getting focused on losing weight, and using my breaks for exercise instead of hanging out making conversation at the smoking area seemed like a more judicious use of my time. On Friday, I took all of my gear – sensors, armband, headphones – intent on getting some running done. I planned on running ahead in short bursts, then running back to her as she power-walked up our route, and jogging in place when making conversation.

RunKeeper Activity - 06..06.2014
Back and forth, back and forth…

As we exited the parking lot, I turned and started jogging backwards while encouraging her to start picking up the pace, having given her a target walking pace of 15 minutes per mile on one of our walks earlier in the week. She was wrapping up something she was doing on her phone, and when she finally looked up, she told me to watch out for the snails. I’d been jogging backwards with my gaze fixed on her the whole time, and hadn’t registered what was behind me for a good while. When I looked down, I saw the sidewalk covered in a tiny mine field of snail shells. At the same time I noticed them, my right step happened to land right on top of one, which let out a resounding crunch as it buckled under my foot. My reverse jog became a burst of blind unplanned hops to avoid stepping on any more snails, and one of my landings with my left foot ended sticking at the wrong angle; my ankle gave way and I felt my foot fold in on itself, letting out a sharp snap that almost sounded like the snail shell I’d crushed moments earlier.
My co-worker gasped, and asked with serious concern if I was okay. She’d seen and heard how violent the ankle injury had been, and her mom instinct clearly kicked in. I took a few moments to assess the ankle, and only feeling a faint tingle of pain, decided that I’d still go with her on our route. I did my running as planned, and had very little issue with the activity. However, once we finished and got back to our desks, the more the day went on, the more I found it harder to support myself or even walk using my left ankle. After work, I struggled to get about and run errands done without ceding to the pain and maintaining a normal walking stride. On my way home, I stopped at a taco shop to grab something to eat, and was very happy to finally arrive to the comfort of my couch. I elevated the ankle and applied ice to it, fully appreciating for the first time in my life the relief that applying cold to an injury.
I spent my afternoon and evening bouncing between video games and the new season of Orange is the New Black on Netflix. Saturday, I woke up still unable to walk or bear weight on my ankle. I ordered in a bunch of food for the day and Sunday, and spent my whole weekend incapacitated on the couch indulging in those distractions. I’ve been a bad little piggy this weekend, and have undoubtedly set myself back some weight loss. From the feel of it, I think I’ll be back to walking tomorrow, and run-ready by Tuesday afternoon. I eagerly await being able to get back to work.

2 thoughts on “Snails, Sprain, Pain, and Sloth”

  1. It’s important to rest, granted the ordering in food may not have been the best idea. Take it from someone who didn’t rest. I fell awkwardly in roller skates at practice, iced for practice and then thought I would be just fine. I kept practicing through the pain and then when I finally went to the doctor (4 months later) found out I did some pretty serious extra injuring to my ankle. Just keep up with the RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) even when you get back to your normal workouts!

    • Thanks for the advice and the cautionary tale. Even though I still feel a slight discomfort when I move it in certain ways, I’ve been feeling so emboldened by the fact that I’ve finally been able to walk today that I was, admittedly, considering going on my usual 5 mile route and seeing how it would go. Now, that RICE plan sounds like a better idea…


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