I am in my thirties and pretty healthy. I have good gross body coordination and I don’t take unreasonable risks. I have never had any kind of injury, no broken bones, no sprains. Until last month, that is. I was climbing a 500-year old wall, when the stone I was holding on to got loose. I went airborne and landed on my behind. I wasn’t too high up, 5 or 6 feet maybe, but going down five feet in free fall is a lot. It all lasted a second, but I think when I landed I put my left arm down to minimize the impact of the fall, thus acquiring a nasty wrist sprain. My wrist got swollen and it hurt. A lot. The whole thing surprised me a bit. I used to go rock climbing for years and never had an accident or injury. And now all of a sudden I am on a mountain, I see an old wall and decide it’d be fun to climb, and I end up with the worst injury of my life.
Then last Friday, almost one month later, I got another sprain. This time it was my ankle. I went to the Royale to see the EELS. It was my first time in the renovated space, so I went up the balcony to see what it looks like. Well, there are lots of couches, mirrors and steps up there. Oh, yes, bloody steps. I was going up and down in the different areas, and in the underlit space I missed a step (or more like I thought there was going to be a step there but wasn’t) and I stepped down on my turned right foot. It hurt, and I’m sure I didn’t look too graceful either. My friend said good thing I didn’t fall, but I think that a fall would spread the impact on several parts of my body, whereas now my poor right ankle bore the brunt of the fall. Now it is swollen, it hurts and I walk around wearing an ankle brace and limping. Graceful, indeed. My right ankle keeps my left wrist company: the injury game is at least inclusive.
As a person immune to injuries up to a month ago, I am not sure what this sudden burst of injuries means. It feels like the cosmic forces want me to experience every possible sprain, now that I am on a sprain roll. Life is what it is and sometimes it feels strange. The truth is my life is full of coincidences and double occurrence incidents like this. Like the double-rainbow guy, I want to shout “what does it MEAN?!?”
We try to find underlying meaning in the same thing occurring multiple times. Coincidence, synchronicity, words we like because they imply forces beyond and above us working in mysterious ways. What am I to make out of this slightly freaky occurrence? I want to be rational and it would be interesting to calculate the probability of the two sprains happening within one month of each other at this point of my life. But then again what would a number tell me? What would it mean for me? Is there any meaning to be understood anyway? I am afraid the answer is more pedestrian than existential. I think it all means that my body coordination is not as great as it used to be. It means I’m getting old. It means I should concentrate more on what I’m doing. It means I should be more careful. Plain and simple.