If you know me at all, you might think my answer to, “What was your least favorite subject in school?” was math. It wasn’t. Not even close.
It was “gym class.”
It still is. But I know, now, that the alternative – “excuse-ridden couch potato” – isn’t good for me. It isn’t serving my overall health and fitness goals. I used to have a gym membership, and was more inclined to go if goaded by my teenaged son, so I added him onto my membership. Then he moved away and I let it lapse.
Sure, long, brisk walks at the park are my favorite form of exercise. But this is Houston; weekends are often too hot and sweaty, too cold and damp, or too stormy for long walks in the park. I love walking in a warm rain – the absolute best is sunshowers on a hot day – but when I say that it’s “rainy” in Houston, think Hurricanes Ike and Harvey. Think wind. Think lightning. Think “drenching deluge.” With more lightning.
I need a gym membership. So yesterday, I got off my couch potato butt and joined a “luxury athletic resort.” (I guess they figured out the ultimate tagline for people who still shudder at the thought of their middle-school gym teachers.) With my law school background, I balked at the waiver they make you sign just to tour the facilities, but I didn’t blame them for the CYA – someone might hurl a medicine ball at me, or a ceiling tile could fall, or I could slip and land in the pool.
I did not expect to take a header into the rock climbing area.
Did I mention I’m a klutz?
I twisted my ankle badly and scraped my face on the somewhat soft, rubbery chunks of flooring designed to keep climbers from breaking their asses if they fall. A safety measure gone wrong, if you don’t realize that the basketball court flooring gives way to flooring that…gives way. That I did not break my glasses was a good sign. The salesman reached over and plucked bits of black, rubbery gravel from my hair. I could not help but laugh as I tried desperately not to limp. “I’m okay!” I was not okay. I was dying inside, but grinning on the outside. I went ahead and paid the initiation fee and first month’s dues, all the while joking and extracting promises of a do-over if I couldn’t meet with the personal trainer next weekend due to sports injuries.
“Oh, you’re fine,” the salesman said, indulging in wishful thinking. I appreciated that, though – he didn’t treat me like a little old lady or suggest calling an ambulance to get it x-rayed at the hospital next door. I mean, why bother? I’d signed away not only all rights to sue for injury, but they could literally take photos of me being hauled away on a stretcher to laugh at on Facebook.
I smiled. “Probably.” As I said to my daughter a few days ago, I whine something awful over a cold – after all, there’s just no cure for the misery, so there’s nothing to do about it but whine. On the other hand, if I smile, brush it off, tell you it’s nothing – I might actually die.
Probably not. But, I could barely walk. A trip to my orthopedic specialist for x-rays in a few days was a very real possibility. I did the Costco run, convinced I’d be spending Sunday in an ankle brace, eating bonbons on the couch. Admittedly, it did not hurt like a broken ankle, nor nearly as bad as the time I tore my MCL skiing – I figured it was a grade 1 sprain, at worst. Then again, I walked around on a broken foot for over a month, once, till I decided the little tiny twinges I felt each time I lifted it weren’t quite “normal.” Either way, I’d likely be hobbling for a couple of weeks.
Rest, Ice, Elevate, Compress. After dinner, I crawled into bed like an old lady and propped my foot up on pillows while watching TV. My daughter is appalled at how little sleep I need, while I’m impressed by how regular her routine is, these days. I dozed off around 11, in a fair bit of pain, and woke up at 7 AM wondering where my foot was. Because it wasn’t in half the agony I’d anticipated. I looked down. Still attached. Barely a twinge of pain. Slightly swollen lump atop my foot, just below the ankle bone. Turning a lovely shade of blue.
All my excuses have vanished.
Time to try rock climbing.