It started like any other Saturday morning.

7am.

Sun was shining. Hardly a cloud in the air.

Slipped on my shoes. Hopped on the pickup. Headed towards the Cebu Wake Park in Liloan.

My weekly trip to the park was showing dividends. I could do simple tricks like a board slide and even an occasional backside 180 – one in ten tries. So I was still bad at wake skating but I was feeling more comfortable on the board and, most importantly, I was having lots of fun.

Wake skating is similar to wakeboarding, but your feet aren’t bound to the board. It’s almost like skateboarding on water, but with the help of a wire system pulling you along.

For weeks, I’ve been trying to go up a ramp and land cleanly back onto the water. That’s how I broke my fibula.

I went up the ramp and as I was being pulled out of it, the board and my feet separated. When the board landed on the water, my left foot landed awkwardly on top of it. Picture your toes trying to touch to the backside of your leg. Yup… it hurt like a motherf……..

The x-ray showed a partially fractured fibula on my left leg. The good news was I didn’t need surgery. The bad news was I needed to wear a cast on my leg for six weeks.

x ray of fibula fractureMoving around was a b….

Crutches or not, I decided that it wasn’t going to limit what I did. I was determined not to let it change many facets of my life. Whenever I could, I still went along and did my regular routine. I hit coffee shops to do work, still went to meetings and hung out with family. All that said, those six weeks in a cast was the most TV I’ve watched in years.

Going out of the house meant that I had to deal with many tricky obstacles, like flights of stairs. I hated stairs. Two days after I fractured my fibula, I took a meeting in FGU across Ayala. To get in the building, I had to walk up a short flight of stairs. On the last step, I lost focus and my foot tripped. Luckily, I fell forward and up the stairs instead of down. The security guard almost caught my fall. My right knee hit the ground first and my casted left leg awkwardly sprawled in front of me.

Small things were a pain in the ass

Turning off the lights became an ordeal. Getting up from a chair was a struggle. Looking for the remote was a treasure hunt. Forgetting your keys when you reached the car… you get the picture (At some point, I could drive, but only automatic). The everyday small stuff that you normally take for granted was difficult.

Every morning was a struggle. Getting ready to do the rest of the day was tough. Showers had to be taken with a plastic bag on my leg. I was forced to awkwardly sit on a stool and raise my leg every time I showered. No water was supposed to seep into the bag and onto the cast.

Rain posed serious life threatening situations. Water on tile became a nemesis. Crutches easily slid on water. It’s not a good feeling having the rug pulled from under you, especially when your other leg feels like a brick.

Carlo in a castThe Pain

Every time I raised my leg for a prolonged period of time, like whenever I watched TV or slept, it was very comfortable. But once I put my leg down, I would feel the blood rushing back down. Then it would start to swell. It felt like my leg was trying to become bigger than my cast. I’ve never experienced anything quite like it before. It didn’t feel like much at first then the pain would slowly build into a throbbing mess. This typically lasted about 10-20 minutes. Afterwards, it would disappear all of a sudden. I spent many mornings dreading getting up from bed. Luckily, this only happened in the first two weeks of having the cast.

Aside from that, it was surprisingly painless. After about 4 weeks, I was even able to start putting weight on my leg. Before I knew it, I could start walking awkwardly without the crutches.

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

– Dr. Wayne Dyer

The Perks

I’m going to miss plenty of the perks. Never having to wait in line. People graciously let me go ahead of them. As you can imagine, people were incredibly nice. Doors were routinely held open for me. The best part was being able to park in the disabled parking slots. Best parking spot anywhere.

People always asked about the accident. The two most common guesses were basketball injury or motorcycle accident. This gave me a reason to talk about wake skating. I can’t count how many times I’ve had to explain what wake skating is to people. At some point, it was easier to just say wakeboarding.

This was taken on the day I broke my fibula. I'll be back.

This was taken on the day I broke my fibula. I’ll be back.

Again?

I’m fine now. The leg doesn’t have the strength it once had. Approximately six months have passed since I broke my leg. It’s not the same. I’m still working on getting the strength back.

People ask me if I would go back to wake skating. Definitely! Why not? These injuries can happen to anyone. I’ve got relatives who have had the exact same injury just walking or getting down from a car. It can happen to anyone.

The truth is if you lead an active lifestyle, you are likely to get injured. The alternative? Sitting down and not doing anything? No thanks.

I’ll be back soon.

See you in the water!

 

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