Broken bird leg.

My husband teases me about my little bird legs. Specifically, my calves. They run in the family (sorry, Mom). If I exercise them well, they look strong and lean. As soon as I don’t exercise them, they look puny and sad. One of the benefits to running, then, is that while I may have bird legs, I like to think they’re like ostrich legs – powerful, fast. (My husband says I look more like a sandpiper when I run – small, swift and kind of funny to watch.) Whatev. If I want to be an ostrich, I’ll be an ostrich.

The fibula is the tiny bone. (This is someone else’s leg. Thanks, google images.)

But not for at least 3-6 weeks. Yesterday, the kind, friendly and irritatingly honest sports ortho informed me that I’d broken one of my bird legs. My sad left bird leg.

If I was a badass, I’d explain that I have a Fibular SFX, three fingers down from the knee. I’m not a badass. It is a stress fracture in my fibula, just under my knee, which is an odd spot for this kind of injury. It’s simply a tiny crack in the tiny outside bone that runs from knee to ankle. It’s not serious, it’s not misaligned, it’s not in a spot where a cast, boot or crutch would help. What is is, is sore and annoying.

Treatment? Don’t do anything that puts pressure on it for at least three weeks (until the next x-ray can say what comes next). Come again? At least? Three weeks? It’s almost Autumn! The best time of the year to run! It’s half marathon season! Trail race season!

Holy annoying, Batman.

Apparently, when my leg started to hurt a month ago, it would have been smarter to walk my bird legs into the ortho for an x-ray, rather than trying to ignore it. Apparently limp-running on it for the past four weeks didn’t really help.

(Holy crap. I just became one of those idiots to push past the pain to run. Never say never, friends. You too, could one day be an idiot.)

So now I’m limping everywhere. Lovely ACE wrap on the leg, and nagging concerns about how I’m going to exercise/eat in order to keep the cardo up, keep the pounds down, and be able to return as strong to the trail/track/treadmill/turf. (See how I did that? Fun with consonants!)

Upside. This is a chance to validate that running is something I do because it’s healthy and because I love it. Not because it’s an addiction that I’d be inclined to do even if it could hurt me. (I ran all these weeks in pain because I didn’t think I was doing added damage. Honest!) If I can validate this motivation, I’ll know I am a runner for the sake of pure enjoyment – not because I’m out to prove something. This is going to take some effort. I like to be fast(er than others). Sorry. It’s true. I try not to be this person, but I am. And I’ve had a great streak of races lately.

Perhaps God has a sense of humor and/or is taking me down a notch. I’m no professional racer. Just a competitive poser. Ah well. We are who we are.

Downside. I really don’t like to swim. And I am not a gym rat. I have a bike (that I was told not to ride yet) but it’s a beach cruiser with a wicker basket…not a whole lot of training gonna happen on that sister. In other words, this experience is not going to transform me into a triathlete. So that’s out. Once yoga doesn’t hurt, I’ll probably do lots of that…it’s another good source of inner peace, even if it isn’t the cardio jam that running provides. P90X is good but I can only take so much of Tony Horton’s bad jokes. (Any suggestions from the reader gallery are welcome!)

One thing I’ll say is that I’m so thankful to be a part of the Oiselle running team. If I need the push to find the confidence to get back out and run – slowly, gradually, wisely – it’ll be for myself and also because I’m honored to be called an athlete by a group of really amazing female athletes. Interestingly, the logo for Oiselle is a bird – maybe there’s something to this…resting a broken bird leg in order to fly higher… (Or maybe I’m waxing poetic – badly.) Apologies. You get the drift.

It is what it is. A sad little broken bird leg. A runner (at heart) trying to be wise and patient, not a whiny weenie. Finding the right things to do until it’s time to fly again.



4 thoughts on “Broken bird leg.

  1. a piece of advice from your friendly neighborhood ortho pa: you get one chance to heal and that time is right now. take it from a knuckle headed, exercise fanatic like me because i learned that lesson the hard way (two operations and NINE MONTHS of no exercise). take a break and give your body the rest that it needs. you (of all people) will definitely appreciate running more when you get back into it. the good news is that the fibula is a completely non weight bearing bone and really serves little purpose in the lower extremity. the fracture you described should heal w/o any complications or long term implications. the bad news is that you don’t like cross training (translation: boredom!). this would be an opportune time to swim, spin, or explore another form of low impact exercise but (as someone i know once taught me): to each his own.

    email me if i can help you with any advice. this is what i do for a living. and i’ll try to be honest, but not “irritatingly” honest with you. 🙂

    • Is this MY John D? Hearing from you makes this a bright spot in my week, rather than the bummer it was. Thank you for the personal/professional counsel! I will appreciate getting back to running, and as much as the workouts yesterday were yawners, I know there are some other really great XT options out there. I’m making a plan of action (bet you can’t hardly believe it) so I have something to follow.
      Thank you, my friend!!

  2. Pingback: Everything else is just exercise. | mewruns

  3. Pingback: What happened? | mewruns

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