Toronto Mike

Remembering My Fractured Foot


When I was in grade three, I fractured my foot and wore a cast for six weeks.  There was a playground at St. Pius X that featured a fireman's pole.  St. Pius X now has a new playground, but this was the old one we built with money raised by selling chocolate covered almonds.  The fact it's no longer standing tells you all you need to know about that deathtrap.

We played a lot of tag on that playground, and during such a game I shot down the pole.  Fergus Kelly, a bigger boy with about forty pounds on me, came down right after me and landed on my leg when it was in an awkward position.  I tried to take one step with it and immediately realized that wasn't going to fly.  The principal drove me to St. Joseph's Health Centre where x-rays revealed a fracture and I was put in a cast and given crutches.

I remember getting crutch lessons and how difficult it was at first.  This wasn't some fancy modern walking cast, this was the old school casts you couldn't put any weight on.  It took a couple of days to master these things, but then I was flying.  After six weeks I was a master of the crutches, faster than any able-bodied kid.

When the cast came off, there was a whack of rehab, because I favoured the leg, but in grade four I shocked the track and field universe by not only making the 4x100m relay team, but by winning the Metro finals and missing the city record by 1/100th of a second.  The rest is history, as underwhelming as it all may be.

So you see, a fractured foot isn't the end of the world.  You can still run your marathon.  In fact, you'll likely come back stronger than ever and start kicking my ass.  Keep your chin up and be glad today's casts are walkable.  And stay away from fireman poles and Fergus Kelly.  That's what I do.

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