By Carla Morton
Some of you may have read about my daughter surfing last summer at Big Dog Surf Camp.
This summer, I decided to join in on the fun.
Hell, I used to windsurf! How hard could it be?
After just one lesson with a coach at the Camp, I was riding those waves to the shore. My board, “BIG RED” is a big floating sidewalk that any bozo can look like a pro on.
So, last week I am at my third lesson this summer.
The waves are small but I am having a blast. I’ve been chatting with Jessu, the coach’s darling girlfriend. We laugh and support one another as we paddle out to Coach Bryce who positions us just perfect for the oncoming wave. He pushes us into it and then shouts, “Cobra, Cobra, Cobra!” Weeee. This is fun! Jessu and I have a blast even if we fall off before standing up.
How will I ever surf for real? I will need a personal wave pusher forever.
After about 5 rides, Jessu and I are taking an itty-bitty wave all the way in to the shore.
I jump off the board (ta-da!) ready to turn the board around and paddle back out for more fun.
The sand is MUCH more shallow than I thought and my left ankle rolls to the outside. No: not a normal roll where the bottom of your foot turns in.. but an ABNORMAL roll where the bottom of your foot turns out. Searing pain shoots up the side of my leg. Jessu asks if I need help as I groan in pain.
“No, I got it. I’m cool.” (Jeeze, I’m not cool at all. How am I going to deal with this?)
Luckily I am in shallow water because I can’t stand up. I sit on the sand yet still in the water, for a few moments assessing my ability to get up on dry beach.
When I finally force myself to stand up, I feel like I am going to throw up.
I make my way to the sea wall where I plant myself and raise my injured leg on top of the other. I don’t feel any pain in this position but when the class is over and I need to hobble down the beach back to the cars, the urge to throw up returns.
“Shit”, I’m thinking.. “Here I am surfing, looking like a cool, hot mom and now with a little ankle twist, I can barely walk down the beach. What a loser these coaches must think I am! Leave the surfing to the kids, Mamma!”
Do I moan and ask for help or a piggyback ride from one of the coaches?
God forbid my injury ends up being just little bruise!
Plus, I’ve gained 7 lbs over the summer and there is no way I am launching my body on the back of some svelte 24 yr old!
Back at the ranch: (i.e., back to my home life), I spend the next 48 hours watching my ankle and foot in amazement as it turns into a purple Elephant Seal. I send photos to the coach to prove in some way that I am NOT a loser (and that I’m still cool of course)
Some friends advise me to get an x-ray. Others say I wouldn’t be able to walk (limp) if there was something really wrong.
I call the doctor and I can’t get in for another 5 days.
“Maybe it will be better by then,” I think to myself. I continue my routine of R.I.C.E.
I learned RICE in a Sports Physiology class in college. (Yeah! I remember something!)
Here is my routine:
- Rest (Uh, sorry.. Don’t feel like resting)
- Ice (okay I did that once or twice)
- Compression (It makes the Elephant Seal Foot feel like it’s going to explode)
- Elevation (Only when I can’t stand the throbbing any longer)
I feel fabulous from the ankle up! “Let’s chop it off and put it out of its misery” I think to myself.
Two nights after my injury, I wear platforms and run (limp fast) between restaurants and bars with some girlfriends in the city. Hey, a few cocktails lessen the severity of my limp, and a maxi dress hides my hideous example of an appendage!
Finally, a week after the injury I am sitting in the waiting room at the orthopedics office. The tech brings me right to x-ray.
“I’m sure it’s just some torn ligaments,” I say to him.
A minute later the doctor comes into the room and without looking at my ankle or asking me any questions says, “Your ankle is broken.” I am aghast. “Luckily we don’t’ need to do surgery but it needs 6 weeks to heal. I can either put you in a boot with crutches… OR if you don’t COMPLY I will have to cast you.”
Comply? What? What? What does he mean by that?
And instantly I feel a guilty sense of knowing.. Miss running-around-the-city-in-platforms-girl. He probably took one look at me, and my Prada bag, and knew I was going to be as LEAST compliant as I could.
So, he orders me a boot, walks the order down the hall to the tech and I over hear the tech saying, “She was surprised, wasn’t she?” They both have me pegged. Damn.
So, here I am in a big black boot without the ability to wear heels for 6 weeks. No running, no surfing, no mountain biking, no swimming.. ( I found out I can do the rowing machine! Shhhh, don’t tell the Doctor) Thank god it’s still hot and flip-flops are in fashion.
If only they could make a boot look fashionable. Wouldn’t it be great if you could get a variety of colors? Gold Lame would be HOT!
What about surfing? I may be down but I am NOT done! I’m calling Big Dog to book another surf lesson in 6 weeks and I’m counting the days.