time fracture / fracture time

Just realised it’s pretty much exactly a year since I broke the talus of my left foot while climbing… which I guess I’m glad to have remembered on my way back from the climbing wall, rather than on the way there. I now have a lot of the mobility back in that ankle, though not all; I count myself lucky that my baseline mobility in that joint was (so I’m told) way above average, though it’s now closer to the mean for a man of my age.

There’s still some residual swelling, which manifests as a sort of thickness around the back of the ankle, where the hamstring runs; this is something to do with the slow process of healing not only the bone and the surrounding muscles, but also the capsule (not the right word, but it’s the closest my physios have been able to provide in English) within which that joint is situated. It is still shrinking down, though ever more slowly, or so it seems.

That seeming slowness may simply be because I’m not paying it so much attention. Everyday walking and cycling and stairs (and, yes, climbing) doesn’t really feel difficult any more, and I only really notice the thing when I’ve been doing one or more of those things for three or four hours (walking being the usual culprit); then I get some stiffness and immobility, and a bit of an increase in swelling, but neither of them last much more than a day before returning to baseline. That said, my endurance as a climber has been shot to shit by way too much time sat on my arse; I can climb 6b again, but after maybe ten or a dozen problems, I’m wiped out.

The lingering weakness of the ankle is at this point, I suspect, as much psychological as physical: I simply don’t trust it to be able to do what it used to, particularly when it comes to fast or heavy movements. That fear has probably been a boon over the last year, keeping me from doing anything that might slow the recovery, but I suspect it’s time to start dispelling it by means of pushing it a bit harder in the months ahead.

Meanwhile, I think I’m mostly over the post-Covid tiredness, to the point that I can’t discern much difference from the usual January torpor. If anything, I’m better than usual for the time of year… which may be due to what I’m told has been an uncommonly clear-skied winter by Malmo standards; double-dropping vitamin D supplements may also be making a difference, I don’t know.

Or perhaps I’ve just not had the time to be tired? This month I have completed 2.5 academic job applications (with the other 0.5 to be done today), written a 6,000 word short story (and had it accepted for a themed anthology), revised for an oral and written examination as part of my level-B1 Swedish course (the written exam is tomorrow morning), done two site visits as part of my project fieldwork, written and submitted two conference paper abstracts, finished a long-overdue book review, and advanced the annual books-read count by a respectable fifteen (though half of them are admittedly graphic novels). All of which I note here not so much as performative productivity for public approval—though if you want to admire my output, go right ahead!—as for the sake of reminding myself that, even though it often doesn’t feel like it, I’m doing a decent job of keeping the show on the road, despite trials and tribulations both personal and contextual.

But that’s enough patting myself on the back—this job application ain’t gonna finish itself, now is it?

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