Torn and Reconnecting

On December 23rd 2016, I managed to tear the anterior talo-fibular ligament in my right ankle. As I was driving between two Australian cities (a little over 730 kms), I was incapacitated a few hundred kms from my destination and outside of phone reception. I ended up driving my manual car (torn ligament and all) closer to the city to get in to service range. I was able to call my family a little past 4:30am to come rescue me. My family found me reclined in the passenger seat of my car, playing my beloved miniature ukulele, watching the sunrise over the gorgeous mountainside. Despite the sporadic shooting pain and uncertainty of what I’d done to myself, it was a rather beautiful start to my Christmas break.

As you’ll know from my previous post, a lot of my specific 2017 goals were based around fitness and power lifting. The tear in my ligament has drastically postponed those goals. I’ve been finding it very hard to keep a positive outlook on my health and fitness over the last few weeks, given exercise was also my stress relief. I’ve had to be very dedicated in watching what I eat and I’ve had to find creative upper body and core exercises that don’t incapacitate me or jolt my ankle around. Rather miraculously however, as of last night I was cleared to drive and my ankle is feeling strong enough that I’m comfortable hobbling without crutches- a week and a half ahead of schedule. I almost have a near-normal gait! Thankfully my friends, housemates, and partner have been very doting and understanding during my unwanted sabbatical and this down time has allowed me to focus on other aspects of my life. While I’ve had to find supplementary, ankle free exercises to do, I’ve also had to readjust my goals.

On New Years Eve a group of friends and I deactivated Facebook and a myriad of social media. The idea was to stop the mindless scrolling and be forced to have genuine interaction with the world around us. I’ve had to seek out world news, consume media in large chunks not just 5-20 second clips, and personally message anyone I want contact with. It’s been an interesting, eye-opening and liberating two weeks so far. When I first thought about deactivating my social media I couldn’t imagine how I’d survive without seeing what every person in my life was up to on a minute – to – minute basis. Now I don’t understand how I lived inside my phone for so many hours every day for so many years.

The deactivation has helped me follow through on a few of my other goals. I’m more dedicated in everything I do. I’m more focused in conversation, when reading or writing, even when binge watching documentaries; I’m not scrolling, trying to consume multiple media at once. It’s allowed the genuine connection I wanted with my friends to flourish. I’m finding more time to write creatively and practice the instruments I’ve collected over the years. I’m finding I’m enjoying life a lot more in a much more tangible, real way and I’m looking forward to the coming year with anticipation, dedication, and avid attention.


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