On walking with a limp…

Posted by on Jul 5, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

The title of today’s post is not figurative. After excessive zeal at the gym, I have landed up with tendonitis. My physio advised some exercises to help settle it, the key of which involved standing on a step and lowering my heal to stretch the tendon – all good until I overdid that and slipped off the step, twisting my ankle in the process. If it hadn’t been so painful, it would have been funny. And painful it was. It was so bad I was convinced I had broken something, but have been assured this is not the case. However, it will be a few weeks before I am back to walking as normal. So I am officially walking with a rather noticeable limp. I am not used to it, but have been learning some things through the process. So here are some of my insights from walking with a limp…

  1. Never take your health for granted. It doesn’t matter what aspect of health it is- when you lose it, you realise how valuable it is.
  2. I have an ever growing respect for those who live with disability, but remain fully engaged in life. It takes more courage than I had realised. As I write I am at a conference in Melbourne. I have had to plan each trip carefully to be sure I can make it. But things don’t always go to plan. The bus from the airport turned out to be a double decker. No problem, except that all the lower deck seats and storage space for luggage were already taken and I had to hobble up the steps hauling my bags behind me. I felt as though I was 103 – it really wasn’t fun. One trip to the conference centre became too much and I abandoned taking an overfull tram and hailed a taxi. All very well – but pretty expensive. Spare a thought for those living on a disability pension. I have no idea how they manage. And I had never previously realised how far trams and buses stop from your destination. A 453metre walk is a useful bit of exercise when all is well, but its no fun when you are being overtaken by snails. What am I saying? After hobbling for a few weeks, I find myself thinking, ‘Can I back out of this appointment? It is just too difficult at the moment.’ Let me say it again. I have a significantly enlarged respect for those who have a disability but continue to remain fully engaged in life. It isn’t easy. I salute them.
  3. I usually walk fast and am focused on getting where I am going. I have no choice but to look around a little more at present. Not my first choice, but its not all bad. I have spotted a host of things I usually wouldn’t have noticed.
  4. Sometimes you just have to accept that you are not going to get through as much as you had intended. Again, really not my first choice, but just the way it is at present, and not everything about it is bad…
  5. It is much easier to say ‘rest your leg and walk as little as possible’ than it is to do in practice.
  6. Even though going to the gym has ended up being hazardous for my health, I am missing it. The more I sit around, the more I want to eat – and I really am not burning up many calories. Sigh…
  7. People treat you a little differently when they see you limping. Some are very kind, but others give the impression that you are no longer worth being taken seriously. It must be pretty depressing if you have to live with that long term… That is my most serious comment, and I hope I am never guilty of doing that to anyone (and I am really sorry if I am…)

Well, as you can see, I’m a horrible patient. Just a twisted ankle and I turn into a tragic! It could be a long few weeks.

And yes, a few people have reminded me of the account of Jacob, who after wrestling with God was left limping. But he was also given a new name (Israel) and started to see life in a different way. A lot of good came from that encounter in Genesis 32. And perhaps my own experience can make me a little gentler and more supportive of those who limp – whatever the cause of their limp may be… That would certainly be a positive outcome.

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