Back on My Feet

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I didn't write about it then, maybe because of the embarrassment, but in May, on a trip to Washington, I fell down an escalator and sliced my knee open, which resulted in me going to the emergency room, getting nine stitches and a tetanus shot. Let me back up a bit. I love to travel. Traveling alone has never bothered me. Some may find it scary or uncomfortable but I think it's fun. You plan your own itinerary, see what you want to see, splurge on some great meals and people watch. It's easy to travel alone to a city you're familiar with, so for me, Washington DC was an easy trip. The thing about traveling alone though is that if you're not careful you'll get stung by a twinge of sadness, maybe even some nostalgia if it's somewhere you've been before, or perhaps it stings because there is someone you want to be there with.  Whatever my sadness may have been towards the end of my DC trip in May, it culminated in a hilariously embarrassing escapade down an escalator that makes me think Sandra Bullock will most certainly be cast to play me in the made for TV movie about my life. Don't worry, I've worked out a few titles. For this particular scene, it would be, "Can I Wear My Heels with Crutches and Other ProbLEMs."

A pro at solo travel, but with an overweight suitcase due to the nature of my trip to Washington, I felt confident enough to hop on the metro in Alexandria and head over to Reagan National Airport. I was distracted. I was in heels. I was wearing a dress.  It was election day in San Antonio and I wasn't really sure if the campaign I was working on was actually going to win. I was determined to fly back in time to go out and watch the results with friends. So that morning, I took my luggage down to the metro and started up the steps. Something got caught, I slipped, the luggage slipped, I tried to recover, it was a total mess and i fell down hard to my knee, landing on the sharp edge of the step.

I shook it off and got up. I could feel my face burning red from embarrassment as the Metro attendant shouted up at me, "Ma'am, are you okay?!"

"Of course!"

I brushed it off. But then I looked down at my legs and saw my knee with a huge gash, blood rushing down my leg and on the platform. I got dizzy. I don't do well with blood. In classic Washington form a few not so gentlemanly men took their seats to wait for the train as I started to feel the platform go dark and leaned on my suitcase for support.

"I need a first aid kit now!"

She rushed up the steps and screamed, "I'm calling 9-1-1!"

I grabbed the first aid kit from her, "It's election day in Texas dammit and I'm getting home."

She tried to distract me by telling me stories about her kids, which was sweet. I grabbed the bottle of iodine and poured it onto my knee and rummaged around for bandages. All she had were bandaids and some gauze and I really needed to stop the bleeding. So I made the worst bandage I could and pressed down on it for pressure, looking at my watch I knew I was going to miss my flight if I stalled any longer and I didn't want to watch poll results in a DC emergency room.

"Don't you have any flats to change into?"

I laughed. It was funny! I texted my boss and told him what happened and I'm sure he secretly couldn't help but laugh. I texted a few others. "Gonna need a doctor when I land. Will be fine." Like I said, the thing about something like this happening when you're traveling alone is that it magnifies how alone you are. I was fine having a French 75 at Le Diplomate on my own, basking in the sun and people watching, but suddenly, clutching my knee in pain, wincing with every step, trying to stop the bleeding, I was in tears on the metro looking like an actual disaster. Nonetheless, I was determined to get back to Texas.

Eight hours of travel later, hobbling through Reagan National and the Atlanta Airports, I made it to San Antonio, hobbled into a car and went straight to a night clinic. When I arrived, still bleeding, now in extreme pain, the doctor said to me, "Were you wearing those shoes all day???? Why did you just now get here???"

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I then got x-rays, pain killers, a tetanus shot and nine stitches. The first time I had ever had stitches, in fact. It was almost as painful as the time the anesthesia wore off when I was getting my wisdom teeth out. Then I was fitted for a knee brace and crutches. Miraculously they adjusted them for heel height, because I wasn't about to wear flats to work, at the disdain of my boss.

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Look at my cat in the background of that picture taunting me.

The knee incident was the icing on the cake of what had already been a horrible 2015 so far. I hobbled around in pain, missed an opportunity to work a huge client event in Houston, couldn't bend my knee for a while and felt my knee lock up in pain if I stood in my heels for too long. Worst of all, I had just gotten back in the habit of running and it knocked me down.  I wrote that really long, painful and embarrassing story to say all of this...

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So I ran just over two miles in McAllen with TJ the Saturday before last. This Saturday we did two more, with Juliet! And tonight, I did two more on my own. Now, for a seasoned runner like him, I'm sure I'm slowing him down quite a bit, but for me, it felt so good to be back out on the trails, on my feet, running. Usually when I get back to running after a long break I feel awful and miserable and like I'm going to die the whole time.  This time I could feel myself wanting to skip and dance as I ran. Perhaps my heart was full, maybe it was a sense of competition, maybe my Apple Watch motivated me to get back out there, I don't know what it was, but I do know the whole thing felt symbolic for what I feel will be the best me yet. 2016, let's do this.