One hour after selling my crutches from my fractured left ankle, I went for a run and promptly sprained my right ankle, nearly getting hit by 3 lanes of oncoming traffic and getting picked up by a passing ambulance in the process!
Would you bloody believe it? I certainly couldn’t.
We ran into the middle of Punt Road, an eight lane highway in Melbourne sometimes known by its other name beginning with C. Bloody Good Bloke saw a decent break in traffic and ran across, and as I went to follow him I had the thought “I better not trip over here, I’ll get hit by many cars.”
Literally as I had the thought — which I’ve never had before despite crossing that road hundreds of times — I somehow sprained my non-fractured ankle.
For the love of Buddha I do NOT know how I achieved it.
I screamed as I stared at the oncoming traffic from the middle of two lanes, painfully turned back and limped across the lanes, then dived onto the grass verge in the middle just as the traffic got to where I’d been standing moments before.
My first thought after “Ow ow ow ow ow” was “Oh fuck, what a fucking muppet!”
My second thought was “Oh dear lord, not this again. I’ve literally just sold my crutches!”
Sorry God, I used your names in vain a few times that morning.
My mental kickery was followed shortly after by some serious gasp-breathing.
I must have gone into shock from seeing all the cars coming at me as I dived off the road on a foot that did NOT want to be dived on.
Bloody Good Bloke eventually made it back across the road to me (after waiting for waves of cars to pass), and as he was helping me calm down — I was hyperventilating, yelping in pain AND laughing at myself all at the same time — an ambulance pulled up in the lane next to us.
“You guys all right?” they called.
“Yeah all good” called Bloody Good Bloke, “I think she’s just sprained her ankle.”
“Need a lift?” they shouted?
“Should be ok, I can carry her,” he replied.
“Ah whatever, get in!” they shouted back, laughing.
And so that was how I managed to seriously spice up Melbourne’s 6th lockdown with a ride in an ambulance. They delivered us safely back to our house (laughing at me for all of the 200m journey) with the help of Bloody Good Bloke carrying me about the place like a hero in a romance novel.
And so began the process of sitting on my butt once more, asking BGB to fetch me Airpods and frozen peas and glasses of water, and having him koala-carry me around the house when I had to go places. We had a strong sense of deja-vu.
I was recording some videos for Nespresso the day after, so I sat with my swollen foot propped up on the Nespresso machine box from the free stuff they’d sent me (hooray, free things!) and tried not to grimace in pain while cracking jokes about mindfully drinking Nespresso.
Then a few days later, when I was able to slowly walk around again, I was sewing up the hem of some dresses I’d bought a year ago and never got around to altering (thank you lockdown), and somehow — for the love of Buddha once more, I have no idea how —
the sewing machine fabric caught and the needle went right through my left finger and out the other side!
It was all very dramatic, pulling the broken needle out of both sides of my finger and limp-dashing to the sink with much blood, but in the end, it wasn’t even that painful, it felt like a burnt finger and healed quickly, but did make it very difficult to type for a few days.
It seems life was trying to make me slow down or something eh?! Naturally, I did not listen.
I have no doubt that a past version of myself (pre mind-tamery) would have crumbled into a heap of “I’m a muppet” and victim-mode self kickery for at least a few days following these events plus all those from the months before.
But instead, I laughed and laughed at the ridiculousness of it all. Interspersed with the occasional shriek of pain when I accidentally moved my toes or typed too vigorously.
Physically I’m looking more and more like a cherub from a classical painting
with one very bruised and banged up foot and another foot and finger that are still on the mend. But mentally, I’m feeling full of life and joy at the moment.
I can wholeheartedly say that the mind-taming skills that I’ve been practicing for years are the reason why
I now bounce back from major setbacks like a spritely piece of bamboo,
rather than falling in the mud and staying there wailing about it, as I’ve done many a time in the past.
Taming your mind can be helpful for all sorts of things — building confidence, getting clarity, making decisions, calming the fuck down, maintaining strong relationships, not being a snapadactal with your partner.
But perhaps the best thing about it is that with practice, you become more resilient to life’s typhoons.
As my mate Jon Kabat-Zinn once said,
You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.
Life will constantly fling challenges at us (and we’ll throw plenty on ourselves.)
If you spend all your time trying to fix, improve or change your external world, you will be frantically fixing, improving and changing for the rest of your life.
And it will suck.
Or, you can realise that that damn cliché is a cliché for a reason: that the only true happiness comes from within.
There’s a place lurking in there, where you can get to anytime, where no matter what is happening in your life, it’s all ok. Enjoyable and fascinating even (even the hard bits). You can learn from it, laugh about it, cry about it, scream about it, and then let go and enjoy the very next moment.
Cue: me riding in on my unconventional mind-taming giraffe.
If you’re fed up with your happiness being at the mercy of the sometimes-lovely outrageously-fucked world we live in, it’s time to tame your mind.
Check out the Bloody Good Life mind-taming program over here.