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Stupid Foot Injury

In the year-plus that I have been regularly running, I occasionally would dwell on the prospect of eventually getting hurt. There were two things I knew worked against me.

First, I have a history with lower back problems. Second, I am a klutz. I figured it was only a matter of time before the lower back, feet, knees, or shins eventually sidelined me – if not before some other fluke occurrence took place as a result of my clumsiness.

Not once had I considered a broken pinky toe.

When it comes to stupid foot injuries, I’m inclined to think of “The Office” where Michael Scott accidentally burns his foot off a George Foreman grill. I would like to say that at least my non-fictional foot injury isn’t nearly as absurd, but then again, my story involves the pinky toe…

I had just returned home from the grocery store. I had placed all my bagged items on top of the counter, where I would one-by-one put things away. As I was standing in front of the counter while preoccupied with something on my phone,  I suddenly felt an incredible amount of pain. In quick sequence, an unopened 24 fluid ounce glass jar of pickles rolled out from one of the plastic bags, proceeded to roll off of the counter, and subsequently drop onto my bare left foot.

In retrospect, I am quite relieved that I was home alone because I can’t imagine how my reaction would have looked to my wife had she been around. I screamed at the top of my lungs before spending the next five minutes pacing excessively in circles as I continued to wallow. During those critical first few minutes, I wasn’t sure what the extent of the injury might be. Was this a situation where the level of pain would be incredibly high for a little bit before subsiding or would this be an injury of some significance?

As I uncomfortably went about the rest of the day, luckily not having a whole lot to do on my feet, it didn’t take long before I came to terms that the excessive swollenness and reach of the black and blue color made it highly likely that my pinky toe was broken. After Googling what the recovery timeline might look like for an injury, I knew full well that I would not be running for a while.

Ironically, the story of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodger and his toe injury has been in the news over the last week. While I do question his choice to use an alternative COVID prevention treatment in place of a proven vaccine, I absolutely will not question his toughness as he plays through his own injury.

As for me, it’s been more than a week since the injury and the recovery slowly continues. It seems the six to eight week recovery for a broken toe may be indeed what I am in for.  As I wait, I have repeatedly thought back to how absurd this is. I know all too well the feeling of humbleness that comes each time after my being clumsy results in an accident of some sorts. While this specific instance was not the result of anything I specifically did, I can’t help feel a sense of that same humbleness, as if this fluke of an occurrence could only happen to me.

Just another example of Murphy’s law getting the better of me.

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