I’m in physical therapy for the second time around to address an issue with my left achilles, which popped up after a few years of long-distance running. I’m not blaming it on the running – I just note the timing.

The last time it became unbearable was when I went to stay with my mother after her hospitalization in 2019. I limped past the aged patients in rehab daily, grateful for the support of my mother’s wheelchair as I pushed her around. I mourned my youth and felt angry that life had zoomed by while I was stuck in the muck of a bad marriage and an even worse divorce. It never occurred to me that my ankle could be fixed; I just felt broken.

But physical therapy was the magic medicine, and I went on to run another marathon later that year.

And then COVID came.

Some people thrived during the lockdowns and finally found time for self-care that they could only dream about during the days of long commutes and office hours. They baked yeast breads and served up gourmet meals for dinner. Not I. I plumped up on take-out food and my muscles grew weak, stressing my ankle once again and sending me into depression and despair. More on that later.

Growing old is not for the faint of heart, as they say.

Again, I sort of forgot that it was something that could be fixed. It didn’t hurt when I ran, which wasn’t often, but afterward, I could hardly walk. So I limped back into the doctor’s office and started my physical therapy with the same magician I worked with before. I’d say we’re about halfway there.

Today I took him homemade cookies, and he tortured me appropriately before he rolled my calf out, massaged my ankle, and handed me my homework assignment for the next couple of weeks.

I can’t wait to walk without pain again.

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