I don’t dribble and do lay-ups like Kobe Bryant but I managed to tear my Achilles tendon just like he did. Before my injury, I worked out with an extraordinary trainer a couple days a week and for years have been a walking addict, clocking 20-30 miles a week with my American bulldog, Molly. And I walk very, very fast. Or at least, I used to.
That was before I decided to have my tennis racquet restrung and to start polishing my backhand after not playing for about a decade. It was fun, too. And like anything I enjoy doing, I guess I enjoy over-doing. I was just starting to get my groove back after three lessons so I joined a doubles game. A very mellow game. After twenty minutes we were down one-two. One of my opponents tried to lob over my head and I bounced on the balls of my feet to set up for an overhead smash. As I brought my heel down, to plant myself, I heard an audible ‘pop’ and felt like a horse kicked my calf. I crumpled on the court, and as I held my leg and felt the tears spring into the corners of my eyes, all I could think of was, No, No, No! I knew what I’d done.
Two years ago when Mr. UnHollywood decided to try playing in a mellow basketball game, he did the same thing. Pop-pain-boot. Crutches-cursing-leg-propped-upon-pillow. For months. The only difference in our injuries is that mine required surgery, while my husband’s case did not.
There is one positive about sharing the torn Achilles tendon experience with Mr. UnHollywood. He is uniquely sympathetic about my new state of Can’t Drive. Can’t Cook. Can’t Market. After the surgery, he brought me breakfast in bed until I felt strong enough to scooter to the kitchen. When a friend isn’t here visiting, he’s home at lunch, making me something to eat. He knows what’s what at Whole Foods. He drives me to the doctor. Helps with dishes. Remembers I’m supposed to take aspirin. I had an event today and noticed my exposed toes looking icky. He gave me a pedicure.
When you say “I do” you have no idea how your beloved will behave during “the worst of times.” These are far from the worst of times, but you get it. He’s taking such good care of me, I want to cry sometimes.
And when I do cry, having a moment in the doctor’s office or in frustration at not being able to climb hills and exercise my own dog, he doesn’t try to stop me. He just tells me it’s all going to work out.
And I believe him.