Monday, January 31, 2011

Graceful like a swan

I have been known to struggle with balance at the best of times...there was one incident at work in which I was sitting, stationary in my chair and seconds later was miraculously on my back looking up at the ceiling which, by the way, is horrendous and something should be done about it.

One of my greatest balance-related achievements during a trip to Thailand in 2008, one of the best and most detrimental to my wellbeing. On the first night I managed to lose my wallet with my atm cards, credit cards and drivers licence and was forced for the rest of the trip to transfer money into my girlfriends account so that she could withdraw cash for me...poor love must have gotten over it after 3 weeks. In the second club, my girlfriend stacked it quite spectacularly down a particularly steep set of stairs, in the process, spilling her Sex On The Beach all over the place. In fits of hysteria I carefully picked my way down the stairs, halfway down finding the ice from her cocktail and continuing the rest of the stairs on my coccyx, fracturing it and condemning myself to a life of extreme discomfort during prolonged periods of sitting.

With this injury in tow, we made friends with a couple of guys from Sydney and at the last minute, coerced some poor taxi driver into driving us from Patong to Koh Phangan to the full moon party which is about an 18 hour round trip involving 4 ferries and stopping in at Koh Samui. The poor guy had to call his wife and explain that he wouldn't be home that night...

After downing a couple of "buckets" (a childrens sand pail with 2 cans of red bull or coke, a flask of your chosen spirit and a handful of fluro drinking straws for about $6) a number of spectacularly cheap tequila shots and a few chugs of some strangers VERY suspicious shake, I was in a pretty special place.

Specifically I was atop a bamboo podium with my girlfriend wearing only the shortest skirt that Thailand has ever seen and a bikini proud my mother must be. At this point, the friends that we came with, who happened to be large, male, tanned, shirtless friends were waving at us to get us to join them in some flaming jump rope (another venture that unsuprisingly ended in rather badly with scorched calves all round) In my euphoric state of awesomeness, I opted for a spectacularly graceful, at least it was graceful, leap into aforementioned friends arms. Turns out that they were not right in front of the podium but infact about 15 meters away  so my well times and swan-like dive into their arms ended with me landing somewhat awkwardly in the soft sand.

Brushing myself off and looking around to see if any of the other 10,000 revellers had seen my faux pas I continued to dance my way, gracefully again, to the group. It took several falls and my friend coming to pick me up out of the sand to realise that my left kneecap was no longer in its usual place and seeemed to be trying to escape from my skin. Cue mass hysteria from everyone but me. Quite calmly I stood up on my non-disclocated leg and thwacked my AWOL patella back into place. Cue massive screaming, again, from everyone but me.

In hindsight saying "look its fine" and continuing to dance for 3 hours to prove my point because I was too wasted to feel anything was probably not the best idea i've ever had. It did mean that I spent the rest of the trip dosed up on over the counter morpheine and other interesting looking painkillers. After 3 years, a few half hearted visits to different physios to prepare me for a trek through the Himalayas, some very sporadic rehab and a couple of rub downs from a very perplexed massage therapist my knee and I am only now back on good terms. We can now run a few kilometers before it flares up and I start yelling at it, its like our thing.

Its a long road to recovery but I have faith that we will one day frolick again.

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