Face, meet Sidewalk

28 02 2010

Friday ended up being a long night.  I decided against running with the team early Saturday after only a few hours of restless sleep.  Determined to get in a decent workout, I set out on a five-mile run later that morning.  It was cold, but not too cold and the roads and sidewalks were actually pretty good on a scale of one to normal Michigan winter treachery.

Two and a half miles in, I tweaked my ankle on Greenfield, but didn’t fall and turned the corner onto 13 Mile Road pain-free.  Then, just a few yards from the corner, at 2.83 miles (thanks, Garmin) and only about 50 yards from my mom’s place, my ankle rolled all the way to the outside bone.  Professional grade falling and barrel rolling ensued until I came to a painful stop sprawled over the snowy walk.  Tears came to my eyes as I lifted my head and saw a lady who had seen me fall running toward me with a cell phone, passenger door still open on the car her husband was driving.

Although I believe in the general goodness of the human race, she really didn’t have to stop and she definitely didn’t have to let a crying, sweaty stranger use her phone.  Mom, if she was home, was literally a stone’s throw away so I tried her first.

“Which button is ‘clear?'” I ask Gracious Stranger.  Between sobs, I had managed to enter a wrong number.

“Here,” Gracious Stranger says, “You tell me the number and I’ll dial.”  I thank her and hand her back the phone which I had so far managed not to drip sweat on.  She hands me back the phone.  No answer.  I dial John’s number.  No answer.  By this point, Gracious Stranger’s husband has pulled into the Judson Center parking lot, gotten out of the car and gets ready to help me up, as I had been kneeling in the snow.

“Can you walk?” Gracious Stranger asks.  I try twice, wincing in pain each time.  Mr. and Mrs. Gracious Stranger ask where I live and offer to drive me home.  They just have to drop their daughter off first.  We’re a few feet away from their car when a little white SUV pulls in behind their car which is blocking the entrance to the lot.  Mr. Gracious Stranger waves at the car and says he’ll move the car in just a minute, but then the other driver jumps out.  It takes me a minute to register who has just jumped out of the car and is running toward me.

It’s Lisa, one of my friends from the team, who also happens to be an osteopathic doctor.  If I could have seen Jesus right at that moment, He probably would have winked at me.

Lisa and I thank the Gracious Strangers and she helps me into her car, drives me home and helps me up the stairs to my apartment.  John, who has been sick for the past two days, looks up from his post on the couch with a confused expression that seems to beg the question, “You brought friends home from a run?” 

I take my snowy shoes off, careful not to track snow anywhere besides the designated mat by the door.  My injury has not cured my anti-melted-snow-on-dry-socks entrance ritual.  Lisa carefully evaluates my ankle, suggests x-rays and prescribes an initial treatment plan.  She also suggests a shower before I go to urgent care (despite my shivers, I am still sweating), mentions something about me needing to be wrapped in bubble wrap and then heads out.

The fact that Lisa, a fellow runner with extensive knowledge of sports medicine, just happened to drive by right after I had fallen was hardly coincidental.  It was a pretty awesome blessing that the one person who was better equipped than anyone else I know to help me in that exact situation showed up at the exact moment I most needed her help and I’m convinced that our rendezvous was planned before I even laced up my Asics and before Lisa decided to make a run up to TJ Maxx to look for luggage. 

God is good all the time.  I don’t think everything happens for a reason because I can’t point out any clear advantages to biting it on a snowy sidewalk or hobbling around my apartment on crutches, but I’m thankful that if I had to wipe out during my Saturday run, God sent the combination of compassionate Gracious Strangers and the perfect friend at just the right time.   

The swelling is already going down a little, I’m looking forward to seeing my ankle bone again soon and purple is one of my favorite colors.  Initial report is no fracture (another blessing!).  The radiologist will have the final word.  PT starts tomorrow 🙂




2 responses

28 02 2010

the bruise will match those new flats you got perfectly….once the swelling goes down enough to fit in them. too matchy matchy??

13 09 2010
A time to dance « Vitamin "D"

[…] But eventually, winter rears its ugly head.  Serene, white mornings give way to gray-brown slushy streets, treacherous morning commutes and an added inch or so of muscle tone in my arms from digging out of the snow to even start that treacherous commute.  Last winter also marked my initiation into my local urgent care’s Frequent Faller program: the injury of the month for December was a strained back that rendered me immobile for three days (thanks, Yoga X), January was the month of the concussion (much love, snowboarding) and February was ankle injury awareness month (caused by the running tumble you may have read about here). […]

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