Monday, September 17, 2012

Life Lesson: Get Back on Your Feet No Matter What

It was one of the nicer days in New York City, sunny, breezy and warm. We had just recovered from a hurricane and some bouts of rain. Work was not particularly stressful and I had a rare opportunity to step out for some lunch. I grabbed my coworker and off we went on a mission to buy some falafel.

We didn't get past one block before I found myself on the ground and in the street. I had slipped on a wet sloped curb and twisted my ankle. My coworker protected me from the traffic and helped me get on my feet. I took a moment to pause against a fire hydrant and catch my breath. I said I was okay, tried to mask any wince of pain my face showed and said, "I think I should go back to the office."

I felt defeated and embarrassed to tell people I fell for falafel. I did not want to look weak so I kept saying that I was fine. My coworkers got me a bag of ice from the deli and for the rest of the afternoon I nursed my ankle while it was propped up on a few boxes.

My ankle did not break. It was just swollen to the point where it looked like a baseball. The ice helped along with ibuprofren. For a week I took a tax/car service to/from work. It was tough for me to walk three avenues, eight flights of stairs, and some change.

Every day got a little bit better. For the first few days I felt pathetic and handicapped. I cancelled all my social engagements and walked like a turtle. Self deprication could only last so long and soon I was cracking jokes, smiling, and testing out how far I could walk without support and pausing.

I feel that mental state plays a big part in how fast you heal. I felt blessed that my fall did not put me in a worse state than I was already in. I was on my way to recovery and determined to be mobile for the upcoming week's festivities.

Earlier in the year, I found myself crying at work frustrated over certain things in my personal life. One of my coworkers said to me, "What's wrong? You're doing great. You don't realize it but you bounce back quickly. You're strong, brave, and fearless." It felt strange to hear these words come out from someone's mouth when they were about me but I've always remembered it and think about it when things get tough.

It was a year ago when I fell down. It was Fashion Night Out. When all the ladies were walking around Fifth Avenue shopping, I was at home, plans foiled, with my leg propped up on a pillow. Hey, I can walk now and I can walk fast, way faster than anyone in high heels.

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