This is an adventure of a different sort.

The story began on June 6, 2010. It was another, ordinary day of climbing at the local rock gym. I was pushing myself a little bit on lead, trying to wrap my head around the idea of falling safely and being willing to push on even when tired. It’s really safe to fall at the gym…

Knowing I was about to fall on my last clip, which was below my feet, I yelled down to my belayer, gave her a second to react, then fell. My left foot smacked directly into the wall, heel first. My right foot missed the wall completely, as I was climbing on the outside of a 90 degree corner. I knew instantly I had hurt myself, I just didn’t know how badly. I asked to be lowered, then sat down on the floor. My belayer snapped into action, removing my rock shoe and examining my foot. It hurt, and I felt really dizzy.

Several of my climbing friends were at the gym that day, and all offered to be of assistance if needed. Once I felt okay enough to be upright, I used two human crutches to help me get my stuff and get into the car. We went straight to Urgent Care, where I was x-rayed promptly and then deposited into an exam room where the doctor would see me. After what felt like an agonizingly long time, a woman in a white coat, wearing what looked like a clear plastic welder’s mask came in.

“This is going to be a very painful fracture” were the first words out of her mouth. Such tact. I immediately started weeping. I had never broken a bone before and I had no idea what to expect. She very cheerfully informed me that I should be ready to walk again before school starts up again (in 3 months), which was completely devastating. So much for the amazing summer plans I had; several alpine climbs, days full of cragging, long backpacks, and camping trips, vaporized right there. She sent me away with a note to give my boss stating I couldn’t work for 7-10 days and some prescriptions for pain pills. I had no instructions for home care or what to do next. I felt depressed, angry, confused and frustrated.

My friends took me home, where another small group of pals had been waiting for me. No way I was going to cancel dinner plans. I couldn’t walk, but I could eat. I was grateful to have people to talk to because I was a disaster that night. What next? I couldn’t possibly imagine.

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