Wednesday, June 6, 2012

the day that i broke both of my heels. at the same time.

i suppose it's time for me to blog about the heels breaking incident of 2008.

this is exactly what it sounds like.

as you probably know, i'm a competitive swimmer. well, i was. i'm totally not anymore, not after swimming in college completely screwed up my back and at this rate i'm not getting it fixed any time soon.

competitive swimming timeline:

age four- prep team.
age five- big team.
ages five to sixteen- swim summer for blackhawk swim team.
ages seven to fourteen- swim winter swim at FWCY.
age fifteen- swim winter at TRAC.
age sixteen to eighteen- swim ALL THE SEASONS at NACS.
age eighteen to nineteen- swim and simulataneously coach autumn ridge.
age nineteen- swim college at alma.

i skipped high school. i swam in high school. on top of all this other stuff.

a typical winter season is from september until when high school starts (early november). high school goes from then until the beginning of february. then winter swimming continues from then until the end of  march.

then summer starts in may and goes until august. summer means long course. long course means outside. long course means 50 meters instead of 25 yards.

high school swimming means FUN FUN FUN FOR EVERYONE!

honestly. i absolutely adored all four years of high school swimming. it was great. even the practices at five fifteen in the morning where i got up at four thirty to drive downtown to practice. because i always bought doughnuts afterward. i really like doughnuts.

but here's the story of the heels breaking incident of 2008.

2008-2009 is my junior year of high school. i'm seventeen. my brother is a senior. he's eighteen. it's december 11th, 2008, and we're headed downtown to a swim meet against southside, if i do remember correctly.

so my junior year of high school is my awkward metal phase? so aaron and i are listening to disturbed. of all things, we're listening to distubed and we're driving to this meet and it's snowing. we're driving separately from my parents, because after meets, the team goes to wendy's to celebrate and eat burgers, and meets end around nine, and my parents want to go home and sleep.

so we're driving to this swim meet, and i remember this very vividly. this guy doesn't put on his turn signal and he's trying to turn in front us, causing us to wait behind him. by now we can't get around him without backing up, and he's just sitting in this intersection in the ghetto. seriously, in the ghetto. so aaron rolls down his window and screams something that i can't put on my blog.

and then we laugh the rest of the mile to southside. (yes. we swim downtown. in the ghetto. but we have one of the nicest pools in indiana, so no judgin'.)

for those of you that don't understand anything about swimming or swim meets, here's a fast tutorial.

there's an event called the 100 freestyle. or front crawl, if you're a cave person. that's four laps. after that event, there's a ten minute break where we can warm up.

then it's the 100 butterfly. or the michael phelps stroke.

the 100 fly is kind of sort of my thing.

so during the ten minute break i was warming up, getting ready to dominate. i didn't really have any competition from southside, and i was the only one from my team, and i was like, this'll be fun, i can just race the clock. so i'm just warming up, swimming some laps, gettin' pumped.

and then i see my good friend taylor sitting on the wall minding his own business.

and i think to myself, if i do a really hard flipturn, i can splash him and it'll be hilarious.

famous last words.

um. this is a flipturn.

it's not that great of a flipturn, but it gives you the point. so if you don't know what a flipturn is, watch it so you can understand the next part of this post.

right. so i'm going to do one of these and splash taylor. it'll be great.

i come in for the turn and i really crank my legs over, using all of my core strength, totally about to just dominate this turn and


i hit both of my heels on the metal edge of the pool.

i cannot properly explain to how much it fuggin' hurt.

so i surface and taylor is sitting there like "OMG ARE YOU OKAY EMILY ARE YOU OKAY" and i'm trying to not cry and i'm like, "yeah yeah i'm good i'm good" trying to channel my inner badassery, and inside i'm making this noise like a deflating cow.

i have an event in five minutes. i can't blow it. so i swim it off. shake it off. swim it off. it'll be fine. both of my feet hurt like hell, but it'll be fine, shake it off, swim it off, you're fine.

it's time for my event. i get out of the pool. ease myself onto the blocks. swim my race. win my race.

as soon as the adrenaline from my victory is gone, i crawl out of the pool like a slug, get to a bench, heave myself onto it... and start screaming.

the lifeguards come running over. i've already broken my foot in their pool and gotten my other foot lodged in a ladder, they know the drill. they stick each of my feet into a bucket of ice and tell me to sit. they fill out an incident report. i sit there and hug my towel and bawl my eyes out because i have never been in so much pain in entire life, and this is after my appendix exploded when i was eight.

i probably won't blog about that.

i scratched (that means i didn't swim) the rest of the meet. i couldn't walk to go to our after meet powwow. when i took my feet out of the ice buckets, both of them were purple and twice their normal size. i assured my coach that i had crutches at home (from the foot breaking incident of early 2008, that's not epic enough for a post) and that i'd be fine.

i walked out of the natatorium suspended between taylor and ryan. both of whom are least six foot four. that was a pretty big stretch for my arms.

so the next day was crutches and it was a friday, which means that i couldn't talk. (there's another post about how i didn't talk on fridays for six years!) so i couldn't tell anybody why i was on crutches. i got sick of writing it down, too. since both of my heels were busted, i'd crutch forward and then go onto my tip toes on both feet.

i've never seen anyone crutch like this to this day.

even on crutches with my feet in agony, i went to swim practice. turns out i could swim just fine, just couldn't walk.

i refused to do a flipturn.

and so the crutches went on for several weeks. by several i mean... something like... six to eight. christmas break was spent in a wheelchair. i crutched across three airports. my parents left me in my wheelchair in front of a painting in florida. i got taken on walks in the wheelchair. i sat in the shower every morning. i crawled to the bathroom and up to my bedroom.

and i still swam.

and baby, i made sectional finals.

i'm trying to picture what the other girls were thinking when i crutched up to the blocks for finals, knelt in front of the blocks, and did a half-assed start off the blocks at sectionals, the biggest meet of the high school season besides state. honestly. but i made finals. channeled the inner badassery.

just before sectionals, when it was clear that my heels weren't getting better, we went to a podiatrist. he gave me double aircasts.

you know, those big gray boots that you wear when you break your foot.

i had two.

please take a moment to appreciate this photo.

after sectionals was over, my parents didn't want me swimming. i was still afraid to do flipturns and i hadn't walked unaided in a good three months, so we just kept going with the aircasts.

i still crawled to the shower. aircasts make stairs very difficult, so i had to walk one step at a time, sideways, and holding the bannister. i became best friends with the school elevator. 

when my heels still weren't healing, i got an MRI. i had bruised my bone marrow. you read that right. i had broken my heels and bruised the bone marrow.

i should do a seminar in powerful flipturns. "how to make your turn rock the house."

finally, halfway through april, i took off my aircasts and found that my heels were almost completely better. then i had to relearn how to walk properly. then i had to wear heel inserts for two months and only wear tennis shoes.

but when i could wear shoes again, what did i do?

i bought myself a sixty dollar pair of converse, that's what i did. they're covered in sea creatures. and kind of fantastic.

the next week i went to new york city, where i did a lot of walking without my aircasts, which was bad. i wasn't allowed to sit at the top of the empire state building and the security guard yelled at me. i cried. when i stand for too long, my heels start to hurt. and they hurt the rest of the day.

this is me, aaron, and my daddy in new york. :)

i don't really know how to end this.

um. do good flipturns. don't break your heels, and not at the same time.

and if your friend is ever in a wheelchair and you take them on walks, sending them "bowling for trashcans" is not advised. my mother did that to me. everyday.

also, new york city is awesome.

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