To the squeamish or the faint of heart, I apologize for following (especially since I count myself among your numbers):
Cellulitis is a really serious skin infection that, left untreated, can cause blood poisoning and death.
And I had cellulitis. For the second time in a matter of months.*
My immediate concern was to get my fever down, get the swelling down, and get my knee back to working order. I had to explain to ED that, while I couldn’t work out, I was at least benefitting from my bed rest because I wasn’t in the mood to eat. It was lose-win, but ED would have to deal with it.
Now, I know it comes as a surprise, but I didn’t die. The antibiotics did their job, and I was back on my feet…foot…in a few weeks.
My ankle still felt weak, but I figured that weakness was just a signal that I needed to start getting it back into shape. (All of those fitspo pictures telling me that “pain is weakness leaving the body” couldn’t be wrong…right?) So I bought a pair of Vibram Five Fingers, since traditional footwear had failed me, and I got myself back into the gym and back on the road.
I will say that I really love those shoes. There is something magical that happens when you can actually feel the road under your feet, and when you can include the earth as an ally. You feel balanced. You feel reactive. You feel powerful.
Unfortunately, I took that feeling as a green light for pushing harder. My runs increased again in time and duration, and I started going back to the gym. On days when I wasn’t lifting weights, I was performing plyometric exercises like burpees and box jumps until my ankle literally gave out.
I was unhappy at home, I was unhappy at work, I was unhappy in my body, but I had the earth under my feet and so I had hope.
And hope is a beautiful thing–except when the higher power in which you’ve placed it is an utterly controlling disorder that’s seeking to do nothing but ruin your life. And my hope, no matter how I tried to explain my way around it, lay directly in ED’s hands.
I consigned myself to getting fat. I had, after all, a chance at getting that promotion at work. My roommates were still talking to me. I had a pair of really cool shoes.
Maybe ED would let this one slide.
*I have the world’s driest hands, which, when confined to the frigid, tundra-like environment of the air-conditioned mall for 9+ hours a day, crack with even the slightest movement. And I work with these dry, cracked hands all day in a very public environment, where I am forced to shake hands and share various pieces of technology with hundreds of people a day. If ever there were a case for wearing gloves to work, this would be it: I ended up with a cellulitis in my right middle finger in the early spring due to circumstances unknown but pretty much easily inferred. The good news was that I could practice a little covert passive-aggression by keeping my middle finger raised throughout the day.+
+I’m kidding. ++