Confessions of a Klutz


I shall be using several Yiddish terms in this post and maybe some Afrikaans too, klutz, yes, you will have heard or read before, verkakte, verklemt, and gemoedsbekakking so yes, due to being a bit of a klutz my ankle is verkakte, I am verklemt and with a week to go before my next marathon I am having a bit of a gemoedsbekakking.

When I fractured my ankle in 5 places in my freshman year at university it wasn’t on the rugby field, the football pitch, running, XC, or even running to class, no, on that embarrassing occasion I slipped on a dropped bottle of Sol, twisted and cracked my ankle whilst wearing three inch platforms at a 70’s Carwash disco at the union, in a circle of friends dressed in concord collars and flares purchased at the Birmingham Rag Market. Yes, to Dancing Queen.


Two years later, if you visited me in traction, strung up like washing on a line, asking me if I had cracked my kneecap running I would probably have looked a bit bemused. I didn’t run at the time. What I actually did was, as I helped my Grandmother move house from West Malling to a riverside cottage closer to the family, I carried the huge old TV down the stairs. I slipped and slid down the stairs, keeping my balance by pushing my knee into the wall and slowing my descent. The problem being that at my Grandmother’s house she had a radiator in the entrance hall and it was this that I hit with the force of gravity and the combined weight of me and the TV, square on the kneecap.


The Tuesday after the Manchester Marathon, so roughly 10 weeks ago, feeling absolutely fine despite a minimal training plan, I kicked my right ankle bone with my left shoe. It bruised, swelled up and, for the next three weeks, I limped and was unable to train. The bruise went but I had limped on it a certain way so the peroneal tendon was a little stiff and sore. People, naturally, assumed this was a side effect of running Manchester but no, sorry, it was unrelated. I am just a klutz.


And bringing you up to date, the Thursday after the Copenhagen marathon, so 3 weeks ago, taking the garbage out, I went down 4 stairs without touching any of them, my ankle went under me and pop! A Sprain, boot, limping, pain, bruising, foot rest under my desk, and all the assumptions and questions. Oh, are you limping, running is bad for you. No! Shut up! I fell down the stairs. This has nothing to do with running. Stop blaming running! For all you know, I like limping.


I see people at work, in the City, or on the streets of London in boots, on crutches, limping with a tell tale ACE bandage protruding from the under one trouser leg and no one bats an eyelid. They are normals. But if I’m limping around the office it has to be running related, because I am a runner. Oh, you are always injured. Running is bad for you. It is bad on the knees. Well, thanks, but it is actually not running related, in fact it is rarely running related, I am just a bit of a klutz with a verkakte ankle, who is a bit verklemt and having a gemoedsbekakking 10 days before RTTK.


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