Less than a week ago, I wrote about my 12 year-old son’s frustrating cross country season, fraught with injury and illness, and the importance of being healthy to enable consistent training, leading to performance improvements. Little did I know that about a week before his Connecticut Association Junior Olympic qualifier, he would sustain yet another injury.
Last night, my son ran into some metal pipes laying on the floor in our house, and bludgeoned the toes on his left foot, and with the pain unbearable, was convinced that he broke three toes. We brought him to the emergency room at the local hospital, and while waiting for the results of the XRays, both my son and I painfully reflected on how our plan to salvage what had already been a frustrating cross country season was dealt perhaps its final blow. This was not the time for blame – “why did you not turn on the light, why were you running in the house, you should have been more careful” – this was a time for hope and prayer. Perhaps the toes are not broken. His agonizing screams brought me back to reality. Two Advils don’t help.
The emergency room doctor entered the room with a smile. She could not detect any fractures on the XRays, and my son was diagnosed with bone bruises (contusions). He was fitted with a boot and crutches. So knocked down, but not completely out. Obviously our training this weekend, designed as the final hard workouts, with sharpening next week, would be cancelled. Another three days of training lost. Instead elevate and rest. But at least he may be able to compete next Sunday. If he had fractured his toes, my son would have ended his cross country season, and probably impacted his indoor track goals.
This is another reminder of the importance of focusing on health, and being risk averse and taking care of one’s body as a runner. Easier said than done with a 12 year-old boy.