Life lessons take many different forms, but I’ve found that as I get older, these rare teaching moments, though no less challenging, are easier to embrace.

While making lemonade out of lemons isn’t my preferred M.O., a large crate of metaphoric lemons was dropped on my left foot last Friday. The pain that I had been living with for months and was trying in vain to will away had finally reached critical mass. The foot in question had swelled alarmingly; it looked like it belonged to Fred Flintstone. Yabba dabba do, indeed.

I limped over to my friends at Orthopedic Associates. Feeling like Norm as he walks into the bar at Cheers, I realized that O.A. is a place where everybody knows my name. One quick x-ray later had confirmed my greatest fear – stress fracture, fifth metatarsal. They fitted me with a boot and handed me a pair of crutches.

A stress fracture is an overuse injury, one that I have experienced before. Because, here’s my dirty little secret: I tend to overdo things. Things that I love. Things like eating. And, yes, working out.

In my enthusiasm to get fit for my sixtieth birthday, I may have overdone it. Just a bit.

Could this injury be a blessing in disguise? I’m going to say yes. I spent the weekend on the hunt for the silver lining. And I think I found it. Now, instead of going all out, I will have to be more thoughtful about my fitness. Planning and execution will be key. While I am crutched and booted, I will concentrate on core and upper body strength. I will pamper my foot and respect its current limitations. And I will (try to) be even more vigilant about my eating.

The universe manifests grace in such strange ways. How else can you explain this unfortunate, yet brilliantly timed, blessing in disguise? My friend and workout partner, Sarah MacColl, recently returned from guiding a hike in the Swiss Alps with a fractured ankle. And while I have enormous sympathy for her current situation, it turns out that misery does, in fact, love company. Especially company that comes fully equipped with a repertoire of hilarious jokes and stories and a certification in fitness training.

Instead of lamenting our mutual boot-clad fate, we’ve decided to make the most of our current hobbled situation. My friends at CrossFit Beacon have also volunteered to help with my rehabilitation. I can’t wait to get back to the gym. Full out WODing my be weeks away, but just being in the company of such positive, generous, motivated athletes will help me on the road to recovery.

It’s not the path I had planned to take to my sixtieth birthday, but even on this bumpy road, the scenery is looking fine.


  • lannalee

    Candace! OMG. Read this on my phone, and now commenting on my computer because this post deserves 10-finger action!

    Because I remember last Friday very well. It was the day after Thursday and our Lounge. All I can think of is the pain you must have been going through while entertaining us so well. And then I realized I walked out the door without even ASKING if you needed help cleaning up. (My head hung in shame.)

    Glad your spirits are good. And you’re rocking that boot.

    Do you need any help?

    • candacekaru

      All is right with the world, and my foot. Not to worry. I’ve always been a glass-half-full kinda gal. Thanks for writing!

  • John Silliman

    I was going to type a more lengthy response, something pithy and smart and all, when suddenly there came a nervy twinge in my left hand. Sympathetic response?? Could be!