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Ormond Beach Observer Friday, Jan. 19, 2018 2 years ago

Setting new goals after an injury

I'm putting my foot down.
by: Jarleene Almenas Associate Editor

For me, 2017 was a year of change. 

I graduated college, got a new job, moved to a different city, lost some friends and met new ones. Unfortunately, it was also the year of my biggest injury to date — three partially torn tendons in my left ankle, a grade 2 sprain I could've easily avoided had I been more careful.

Whether I like it or not, that injury is the most prominent thing I'll remember from last year. And how could I not, if I'm still, almost six months later, still dealing with the aftermath. To wrap the incident up in one not-so-short sentence: Two days before Hurricane Irma hit, I was carrying stuff to my car to leave to my parents' house, tripped down two steps in the stairs outside my apartment and bent my foot farther back than your standard ballerina.

I was off my feet for about 10 weeks, but I never took time off work. I'm way too stubborn for that. So I returned home immediately after the hurricane, and hobbled my way around town on crutches (and eventually a wheelchair!), interviewing city officials, taking photos, meeting people for stories...

I was confident that I would eventually return to normal. Falling down stairs is not uncommon for me — this was my second injury as a result of that. I initially figured I'd be in a walking boot for about six weeks, give or take, do some physical therapy and come back stronger than before.

Taking photos of Hurricane Irma's impact on the Ormond Memorial Art Museum gardens on crutches, just three days after my injury.

But things don't always go the way you wish them to.

I still get up in the morning and have to force myself to fully plant my foot on the ground. My new default? Walking on tiptoes. 

Things are slowly getting better though, and I still haven't given up hope that my foot will heal. Tendons take longer than bones. 

I'm generally not a person who has regrets. I don't even regret falling — it is what it is. But I do wish I had fulfilled the one thing I told myself I would do last year as I moved to Ormond Beach.

I wanted to run on the bridge. 

While I'm not a competitive runner by any means, I've been leisurely running since I was 15. It helps me clear my head. I don't know if it's the feeling you get like your heart is about to pop out of your chest and lead you in the direction you're headed, or if it's the out-of-body sensation you get when you've finished a really good run and you're on the ground stretching your jellied muscles.

I just know it makes me feel really good. 

So, while I don't believe in New Years Resolutions — they're much too fickle and people usually don't see them through from January — I'm making it my personal goal in 2018 to run on the Granada bridge. I want to be able to set my eyes on the literal horizon on the beach from its peak and feel the burn of my muscles as I ascend and descend. I want to be able to plant both my feet at its base and feel strong. 

It might take months, but good thing I'm pretty stubborn. 

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