Sitting in the doctor’s office waiting to be seen, I saw it glimmering across the waiting room. I can spot change on the ground from a mile away. I got up for a quick assessment. Heads up! Score! Lucky Penny! In my pocket it went.
When it was my turn to be seen, Dr. Wong starting poking and prodding my ankle this way and that.
“Does this hurt?”
“A little.” It actually had been feeling much better today. My plan was to get the go ahead from the doc and then try to test out a run this afternoon.
“Well,” he said, “it doesn’t appear to be hurting you that much, so I think it’s probably just a mild sprain. You can probably try to run on it today.” Sweet! “..but, let’s just get an x-ray to be sure.”
I was sitting in the lobby waiting for him to come out and tell me the good news. Except, when I saw his face, I instantly knew it wasn’t good news. Hairline fracture of the fibula. No running for at least 2 weeks. Likely 3. This, as is probably evident, is not super convenient when you have an Ironman in 4.5 weeks and haven’t run in 5 weeks.
I swear I almost muttered out loud, “bu bu but, what about the lucky penny?” I don’t actually EVER remember having bad news on any day that I’ve found a lucky penny. It was sure-fire. It always had been. Apparently, the penny, much like the honey badger, did not give a sh!& on this particular day.
I am really grateful that he told me in the lobby. Having other people around probably kept me from instantly bawling and turning into a sulking baby. I am extremely grateful for this since I am NOT a pretty crier. So, I did what any normal person does after getting bad news, I whined to my mom. I mentioned that I must have a pretty high pain tolerance because it never seemed to hurt that much. In fact, I haven’t had to take so much as a motrin for this or the prior foot injury. This mystery was solved by my mom who reminded me that when I was in kindergarten I had broken my ankle, but neither her or my grandma believed me. Apparently, they thought I was making it up and made me try to walk on it for a week. It’s only when several days later I was still crawling around that they took me to the doctor, who confirmed it was completely broken. I tell you this now because I’m pretty sure this is past the statute of limitations set by child protective services. As much as it probably sucked then, it’s set me up to handle injury and pain pretty well as an adult. Thanks, Mom, I guess. (As an aside, what, exactly, would a kindergartener have made up an ankle break for? I guess they thought I was trying to get out of the daily stress of my recess 4 square competition. Who knows?)
I’ll be completely honest, there were about 10 whole minutes where I was really bummed. Then, though, in my attempt at mental preservation (actually, it was in an attempt to cheer Ryan up), I began thinking of all the things I was super grateful for.
- I can still bike and swim. How awesome is that?! I have had two injuries now, both have allowed me to continue swimming and riding. That means I can still do the Diabolical Double this weekend. I am so aware of how much things could have sucked if I would have had to take full rest.
- Having to sit out another 2 weeks will mean that my original foot injury has another 2 weeks to get pretty darn close to 100% healed.
- The doc is pretty confident I’ll be healed in time to do IMLP
- Then (and this is my favorite one), I started thinking about what my new IMLP goal could be. I still think I can throw down a solid swim, a stellar bike, and what most other people would consider a solid run. I think there is a chance that I can still go sub 12 hours at IMLP without having run in 2 months. That would be pretty freaking badass. Actually, that would be WAY badass. That would be a story for the grandkids someday. Except, by the time I end up telling it, I’m pretty sure it will have grown to something like, “I did an Ironman when I was your age hopping on one leg, uphill the entire time.”
- What is also cool is that I am usually so “in the zone” during the run portion that I don’t take notice of anything around me. On this run, though, there will be no pressure. I can enjoy it, slap the hands (and butts) of my teammates, talk to my fellow competitors and just enjoy the journey. That is something I would not have allowed myself to do had I gone into this healthy.
- My husband has a great opportunity to actually beat me. He better not let this chance go to waste because I don’t intend on letting it happen again.
After 10 minutes of some psychological re-tooling, I found myself really and honestly looking forward to this experience. During challenging times, you truly have the power to decide how you are going to handle it. I’m choosing to enjoy the moment. It’s the best choice I have. So, after thinking all this and getting myself re-energized, I happened to feel a jingling in my pocket, and there it was. My lucky penny. As it turns out, maybe the lucky penny did give a sh*& after all. As it is, I feel more energized and grateful now then I did this morning. I’m excited for a great experience and have no pressure associated with it.
That all feels pretty lucky to me.