Fitness Downgrades

— 5 minute read

It's 7 in the morning and I am typing this looking out of the window, the dark blue skies now turning oyster grey. There is some rooster crowing in the distance, and at least four other types of birds calling and chirping away. I am sitting on the bed and there is a lack of pain. The painkiller seems to have worked.

A fractured toe. This is the latest out of a string of injuries that I've sustained in the last six months.

There was a fall on slippery tiles when I was walking on a rainy day in November, hurting my back and taking me a few weeks out of commission. In January I did some push ups with poor form and injured my elbow, so another couple of weeks gone. Then in February we had a small scooter accident in Chiang Mai which gave me several bruises and a skinned knee, and the bruises were so located that I couldn't place any weight on my knee, so another few weeks of no yoga.

In between injuries, the year end festivities, Chinese New Year, a work/chill trip in Chiang Mai, and getting sick in between - I thought March would be the month when we were finally getting back into the thick of exercising. Then, bam! During the last movement of a hand stand class on Monday, I landed wrongly on my toe, and heard a sickening crack.

That night I visited the emergency room of a nearby hospital and got an x-ray that indicated a V-shaped fracture on my right big toe. After being forgotten for about half an hour in a busy ER, a nurse came around and gave me a buddy splint (a splint, plus the second toe used as additional support).

So here we are, typing on a Sunday morning, on the bed which has become my only site of activity besides the toilet. On Friday I had visited an orthopaedic surgeon, who redid the splint because the ER nurse had splinted it without straightening the toe (I KNOW RIGHT), and fixed the overly tight bandage which gave me no choice but to sleep sitting up for a few days because the cut circulation would be too painful otherwise.

Curses, self pity and painkillers aside, I am fine now, at least as fine as I can be. We are looking at four weeks till the splint can be removed, two weeks of rehabilitation, and at least two more weeks till I can consider doing anything active. My new year resolution of trying to build strength this year has taken on a different meaning.

The first week of being bedridden was about pain management and working from home, and now that I've made the mental preparation to hunker down for the next several weeks, the question becomes that of how. It's a bit like a lockdown, except that other people are still going about while I'm on house arrest, and the movement control is within a three metre radius.

The question of how to make the best out of the situation arises from a philosophy of making a bad situation turn out well in the end. This is not so much a matter of positive attitude but a deliberate action, in taking control of the events that unfold by putting in effort in specific directions, so that future me can look back into this incident with the satisfying narrative of "Event A triggered Action B that eventually created a better outcome of C".

The question now is what Action B and Outcome C can be, since we already know that Event A is "that time when I fractured my toe in the last movement of hand stand class because I stupidly ignored the fact that I was fatigued and did not have the strength to do a sideway hand stand walk against the wall and fell badly".

For consideration, activities that can be done without a foot

  1. Guitar playing
  2. Drawing
  3. Blogging/writing
  4. Looking out of the window
  5. Reading books
  6. Watching Japanese dramas
  7. Hand sewing and repairing garments
  8. Any of the art projects that I had always wanted to set up but never did
  9. Jigsaw puzzles or legos
  10. Have house visitors

The sun is casting a lovely bright light on the houses below. I wish I could go to the park. I miss the trees and I miss having a coffee and a muffin on a bench, jotting down ideas that come.

I think drawing is an obvious activity to pick up, since it's perfectly doable within the confines of my bed, and I've been trying to get back into drawing for the longest time. Maybe Event A will be the event that finally get me back into drawing again and it will be all worthwhile in the end.

Maybe. I hope so.