A Phenomenology of Ankle Sprains

Around two weeks ago, I was running/jogging around the Ateneo campus when I suddenly lost motion and slipped a bit. Unaware of what just transpired, my right foot still proceeded with its fluid forward motion. As a result, my ankle was twisted out of its usual position. Lucky enough for me, I was nearing the end of this evening routine of mine. It was painful to walk however, I limped and limped until finally I was in front of my condo unit’s door.

With my desire to decrease some of my body fats, I was stubborn and proceeded with running two days after, and two days again after that. I also went on playing badminton with some friends and co-employees. During the entirety of the activities, I felt the pain momentarily only. After them however, my right lower foot screamed in excruciating agony.

I proceeded to the week after that and still the same thing. My ankle sprain evolved into a monster which almost did not permit me to walk at all. I had extreme difficulty walking, especially going to work where the first jeepney station is around 500 meters from my pad. To top it, I had my craziest ever bike ride ever which almost took my sanity as well. It just tore my ankle (and my butt) more though. That’s when I started to lighten things up. Note: just lighten, I did not really stop. Eventually, my screaming right ankle quieted down.

Running is very much similar to chasing one’s dreams. In fact, for one to realize his goals, he has to run hard. The laps of life are all rough and harrowing, thus an ankle sprain or any injury is really inevitable. The choice is up to one however if he wishes to continue or not. He can just opt to stop and rest for a while, claiming that he needs to relax a bit. However, that will actually just slow things down for the runner as material distractions surround him. Eventually, when the pain is gone, he’ll unfortunately forget what he was running for to begin with. One can also choose to ignore the pain and continue running at the same velocity. That however will add injury to his already injured foot and it may actually cripple him down to the point that at the end of the day, he doesn’t reach the finish line at all. Third choice is that a person may prefer not to run to begin with. He’ll just blab and blab that he’ll one day run at the speed of light along the colors of the rainbow. Unfortunately, even the sweetest of sweet words won’t take one to his destination. Words don’t have wings or shoes, after all. Fourth option is actually an indirect opposite of the third — here the runner gives up on running all in all. Not only does he lose his race here, he loses his spirit as well, unfortunately. And along with it, his dreams all evaporate into thin air.

Yet the fifth and last choice for the runner is to slow down once he feels the pain building up. He still continues though — he does not stop. He’s only doing things at a slower pace. And once the pain gets used to this new movement, it eventually becomes one with the runner. It makes him stronger and after three or so minutes, the runner can sprint at an increased speed again — even faster than his former rate. In a way, the pain provides the extra fuel/boost to the runner to reach the finish line in time.

The moment one stops running, one stops dreaming. As the years pass by, I am expecting more ankle sprains, road blocks, and other forms of problems to come by my way. Yet at no point shall I stop. After all, I’m just beginning this century run.

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