And Then I Totally Broke My Butt.

And Then I Totally Broke My Butt.

(Photos, above and below, by the great Karen Walrond)

So about a month ago, a few days before I left for ALT NYC, I was barefoot in my kitchen, moving too quickly and making Harry some cereal, when I slipped and (because my hands were holding a ceramic bowl full of milk and cereal) landed flat on my ass. Down fast and hard, cereal and milk everywhere. It hurt. Super hurt. In fact, the whole thing was so surprisingly unexpected and uncharacteristic, I started crying…which is also uncharacteristic and really should have been my first clue. But, because I’m not 80, I thought, whatever,  I fell down, no big deal.

However, it kept hurting, only kind of even more. And three weeks later, after conferring with an orthopedic surgeon friend, I realized that I had broken my tailbone.

So my tailbone is broken. But there’s nothing anyone can really do for that, except just sort of wait for it to heal. (People keep asking me if I’m sitting on a donut. Um no. Too much trouble.) But it has made me think more about my body and how I’m caring for it, or not caring for it really. Instead I’m just moving too fast through my day, silently obsessing about the fact that my jeans don’t fit the same way they used to, or that I often see weird things on my neck (like a variety of chins) in photos…instead of seeing the gigantic laugh and awesome memory. It’s nuts.

And it’s all been coming together for me over the last few weeks. I think I’m understanding some of the sources of my problem.

I was talking to Sara Urquhart last weekend, and she told me this excellent story about how she went to a consultation with a trainer, where the trainer asked a variety of questions including “How would you rate your body on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the highest?” Sara thought about it. She was up at 6 am, got her kids off to school, spent some time with her husband, got 27 other things done in the next five hours before her appointment. Her body was rocking it out before noon. So she answered directly: “Oh, probably an 8 or a 9.” The trainer, who was probably more used to women answering, “Um, I don’t know, three?,” was clearly and visibly surprised and even, for a moment, speechless. Immediately, Sara knew she was done with this appointment and with this trainer. Sara is one of my heros.

And hearing her story, and laughing, I realized how right her thinking is and how much I want to think like her. My body is awesome. It takes me where I need to go. And it reminds me that getting out of balance can result in a giant pain in the ass.

As I mentioned last week, Brene’ Brown’s new book (Daring Greatly) has challenged me with the phrase, What would you be glad that you did, even if you failed?  Trying to be active in any way always ends in total failure for me. I start running and pull things. I buy a yoga class package and then never go. Hell, I make cereal and break my tailbone. So. I stop being active. Because it’s a reminder how I fail at things, and then, I fail at being active at all. And that’s not good.

Because I’m not 80 (And thank God for that, because if I were, that fall would have killed me dead. In my kitchen. Awesome.) And I need to stop acting like it. I need to get up and get going and keep my body active. I need to swim. I need to run in one of those color 5Ks. I need to find a pair of jeans that I love. I need to feel better about myself. And I’ll be glad I tried to do that, even if I fail. (I’m not actually sure what failing at that means anyway, because I can’t fail more than I am right now.)

Also, I really hope someone asks me how I feel about my body…because I want to say, even with the broken tailbone, “A solid 8.” I’ll take it up to a 9 after I do that color run.

I should probably eat less sugar on a stick too. I’ll work on that next. Or, eventually. 

The List

16 Responses to And Then I Totally Broke My Butt.

  1. You look so happy eating sugar on a stick. Don’t stop!

  2. ouch! and sister, i am RIGHT there with you. i need to get active too. right after Blogalicious, it’s ON.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    I broke my tailbone once too. I was 11, and didn’t tell anybody that I almost passed out from pain any time I sat done, ’cause it was embarrassing or something. And yeah, I’m so wanting to do things that get me *back in my body* instead of ignoring it so I can get another thing done. And finally, I LOVE Daring Greatly. Some really great ladies gave me a copy last weekend and I’ve been reading it ever since.

  4. nakedjen says:

    This was one of THE BEST things I have read on the whole world wide web of connected intertubes. Thank you for writing it, for sharing it and for loving your body and yourself exactly that much.

    You really rock. A whole, whole lot.

  5. Jen G says:

    love this. last night I was laying in bed thinking I need to set a goal that involves not sitting on my ass. a color run sounds fun – there was one here a couple of weeks ago and the FB photos from friends that did it were great. i don’t have a pain in my ass at the moment that keeps me from taking part, but my right foot hurts like hell and last year I had bursitis. Yes – it is a real thing and no, I am not 80 either. (I’m 40)

    I will be more active with you. kay? let’s go.


  6. Sarah says:

    Dec 8 — that will be a 10. See you there.

  7. sheriji says:

    “Instead I’m just moving too fast through my day, silently obsessing about the fact that my jeans don’t fit the same way they used to, or that I often see weird things on my neck (like a variety of chins) in photos…instead of seeing the gigantic laugh and awesome memory. It’s nuts.”

    Yeah. That’s it exactly.

    Plus last Saturday I broke my toe. I would like to be able to answer, when people ask, that I tripped over the lead runner in that marathon I was running, or fell off the roof while single-handedly re-shingling my house, but actually I just kicked my bed while walking into my bedroom in broad daylight, looking at the other corner of the bed and thinking about something else. And then last week I re-broke it walking off my deck while power-washing the back of the house.

    Yeah, it’s hopeless. So I can’t walk for exercise, wear shoes, or do yoga, and I hate that I have a chin I can feel beneath the chin I was born with and my stomach sits in my lap, but I also love authentic Mexican tortilla chips and salsa and the Delmonico steak Husband grilled last night and served with a cherry-and-peppery Cab Franc. It’s hopeless.

    But I’m going to work on thinking I’m a “9” because I wrote a seven-page article today, and harvested oregano, and taught 7 piano lessons,and you have a really beautiful smile.

    That’s all.

  8. Sarah M. says:

    You just inspired me to sign up for the color run! I’d never heard of it before, but I looked into it and checked with my friends, and now we have a 6-person team for the January run. Thank you!

  9. leandra says:

    What a great post. I feel like I have been fighting with an extra 10 lbs but I am still able to travel well, hike with my pup and hubby and generally get around fine. Besides, am I ready to give up beer and cheese for those extra pounds? Perhaps not. This is perspective I needed today, thanks!

  10. Ami says:

    I am losing weight now, almost 30 pounds at the moment. And when you posed that question about rating your body, I was thinking to myself, maybe I’m approaching a 7 or 8. W00t! I am not even within the officially-recc’d BMI range and probably won’t be even when I lose the last 15 pounds I want to, but I’ll be close, and dang it, I feel good! So yeah, my body, it’s a 7. Go me.
    But, I really hopped on to tell you: Do the color run! It’s fun. I just did the Indianapolis one and it was fun! I didn’t really run it though. I’d run for a 100 yards and then walk. THen run for 100 yards and then walk. I had a blast, I bet you will too.

  11. Lise says:

    You’re a happy inspiration, Laura! Glad to see your recent posts on the blog!

  12. Megan says:

    I need to metaphorically break my butt in other areas of my life, if that’s the thing that will kick start a renewed way of thinking. Speedy healing!

  13. Boston Mamas says:

    Man, when Sara told me that story I totally fell in love with her. AWESOME.

    You are also awesome. I love you and your broken butt. You should feel awesome about yourself.

    I’m here to support you however I can! xoxo Christine

  14. Bethlin says:

    So I missed it this year, but last year I “ran” the Keep Austin Weird 5K. There were two wine stops, two vodka stops, and the path of the race went by the same Amy’s ice cream stop twice. Also I had to go off trail to find water for the dogs. Also, I ran in costume. Also, this is a great way to feel all active-good about yourself without having to pull anything. (We walked the whole thing because of people’s brittle bones and other people’s asthma.):

    Also, I once broke my ass sitting still in a boat. And now that I search my currently-inactive blog for it, I’m sort of appalled that I never wrote a post about it. I did use a donut, but only while driving. It’s been two years and I still rarely refer to that boat by its name, instead referencing it as the one-that-broke-my-ass while I glower menacingly.

  15. Nikie says:

    Ridiculous question – In your photo you are wearing a dress my husband bought me for my birthday. I have not worn it yet because I am not sure what to do about the waist line (belt or no belt) and shoes? You look adorable from the waist up but would love to see the rest!

  16. Esther says:

    I broke my tailbone, and was searching for advice on walking a 5k, when I stumbled on your post. I can completely relate! I am signed up for a 5k tomorrow, which I am now walking. I am so happy that I am still able to move. I cannot “sit” around feeling sorry for myself. A short walk won’t hurt me, will it? By the way, I love your post!!

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