My ankle – currently barely bringing myself to the yard, let alone “all the boys”

Although it would be pretty bizarre if it did, given that I (a) don’t own a yard and (b) am not some kind of gay lust object. Anyway, before this lame (hah!) metaphor gets irreversibly derailed, the subject for today is my crappy right ankle, its ligaments sprained again for about the fourth time in the past three years, leaving me coping with intermittent pain and stiffness as I make my way through life somewhat more slowly and carefully than usual.

Since my injury this time was basically caused by walking down the street, much as it was the two previous times (the first sprain happened, and I wish I was making this up, whilst I was carrying out the dramatic and dangerous task of getting out of bed), I can’t help thinking that I was not physically well designed for a life of action. As a Premiership footballer, I would have driven fans to despair with my fragility, although on the plus side I would no doubt have got a lot of expensive physiotherapy and time off work. Maybe there would have even been the sort of media spotlight on my ankle that David Beckham got on his fractured metatarsal just before the 2002 World Cup.

As it is, I have painkillers and sheets of exercises for ankles from my GP, designed to be carried out three times a day by someone who presumably doesn’t realise that those in full-time employment have only two periods each day during which they can exercise – early morning and late evening. I am not spending my lunch break writing the alphabet in the air with my toes. My doctor tells me that the important exercises are the ones, like standing on one leg for 30 seconds, that develop proprioception (your body’s ability to sense where you are). That might be a problem, because at the moment, whenever I try to stand on one leg, I start to fall over after a few seconds.

No doubt my ankle will eventually return to normal, but it is worrying how the same problem tends to repeat itself, and so long as it continues, it’s a permanent reminder of how dependent we all are on minor things going right all the time. It’s only when things like this go wrong that you even notice they’re there.

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