Issue 16: What It Feels Like to Break a Bone

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Issue 16: What It Feels Like to Break a Bone

One of the unfortunate side effects of playing basketball (or doing any kind of exercise, really) is the possibility of breaking a bone, or tearing a ligament, or pulling a muscle, or suffering any number of various injuries. It’s never a fun thing, as you may expect.

I went nearly three decades without breaking a bone, so that world was still foreign to me. I credit drinking tons of milk all the time growing up. It’s high in calcium! Surely it protected my bones and kept them healthy.

That all changed one fateful night. I was playing in a basketball league and we were nearing the end of our first game of the new season. It was a close game — we were ahead by a couple of points. We were on defense, and I was guarding my man on the perimeter.

Because I’m a solid teammate, I was in good help position, standing in between my man and the ballhandler, who was hanging out just beyond the three-point line. That ballhandler threw a bounce pass to my man, and I lunged at the ball, swinging my right arm down as I took a step with my right foot. The ball went off my arm and out of bounds, which gave me a bit of time to assess the situation.

Really, though, I only needed about a millisecond, because I immediately felt that something was wrong. But it didn’t feel like a broken bone. Rather, it felt like my shoe had broken.

Have you ever had that happen? You’re walking along, then the bottom flap of your shoe comes undone, and then you have a shoe that looks like it has its own mouth (fitting, since a shoe already has a tongue) and makes it difficult to walk.

I was upset because I had recently purchased this pair of shoes. I had maybe worn them only eight to ten times, and now I’d have to get them replaced? There’s no repairing flappy shoes. Well, maybe there is, but I don’t want to figure out how to do it. It’s just easier to buy a new pair. And with how expensive basketball shoes can run you, that adds up quickly.

That’s what I thought had happened here. But as I went to look at my shoe, it seemed to be fully intact. I ran my hand across the entire bottom of the shoe, and nothing was wrong with it. It was as sturdy as the day I had bought the shoes.

I breathed a sigh of relief, but then I took a couple of additional steps. And they were excruciating steps. Imagine the sharpest pain you’ve felt, like when you hit your funny bone or bash your leg into the side of a coffee table. It was like that with every single step, and the pain wasn’t dissipating at all.

It was at that moment where I decided I shouldn’t be playing anymore, and perhaps shouldn’t even be standing up. I headed over to the bench, asked for a sub, and immediately started icing my foot while keeping pressure off of it.

Oh no, just kidding. I stayed in and played the rest of the game. Boy, am I stupid. I was at about 15 percent speed and could not take more than two consecutive steps without needing to stop moving. Somehow, the guy I was guarding didn’t realize this and didn’t try to immediately take advantage of my incapacitated self. I’m forever grateful for his inability to recognize the situation.

I’ve sprained or rolled my ankle many times, and though this felt different, a part of me considered the possibility that it was perhaps just a very bad sprain. But when I woke up the next morning, my foot still felt terrible. I went to the doctor (a foot doctor, in fact) and that’s when I was diagnosed with a broken foot.

This was all within a week of a family vacation to Iceland. If you’ve never visited Iceland, I highly recommend it. It’s a gorgeous country, it has the best horses, and the food is phenomenal.

However, I cannot endorse breaking your foot before you go. There are a lot of mountains and cliffs and waterfalls and areas with jagged rocks that are made all the more difficult to scale when you do not have solid footing (pun absolutely intended).

Breaking your foot simply by stepping incorrectly is a pretty embarrassing way to break your foot. On the plus side, the walking boot they gave me was super stylish.

And because I had such a great time breaking my foot, I decided to break my wrist less than a year later.

Alexis Rose Yikes

But that’s a story for another day. Stay safe out there, everyone.

That’s all ’til next time. Thanks for reading!


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