In December, while I was moving, I was carrying the last and most precious item: the travel trunk of my maternal grandmother. The only thing of the few that she owned that I am fortunate to have with me.
It’s a very heavy wooden box, one of the kind that was used for travelling. In spite of it’s being a “travel trunk”, today it no longer has a handle and it’s very difficult to carry. I was going down the stairs of the house, the same ones I’ve gone down hundreds of times, certain that I had the number of steps on auto pilot. Thinking I’d gotten to the end of the stairs I took a step out onto the floor. But no. There was still one more step and I fell.
In this fall, with the weight that I was carrying and the way that I’d fallen, I sprained both feet. This sprain, after several x-rays and one scan, we discovered (the doctors and I) that it was a little more serious: I had stretched and torn the ligaments in the ankle and also broken some bones.
This was in the beginning of December.
After this, I had to have both feet immobilized and situated in such a way that they’d never touch the floor. I sat in my bed all through December and January propped up on a pillow my brother had fixed up for me in my room, reading and exercising the art of patience.
Friends of Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/juli_hirata/) given me "that" support!
At the end of January I started physical therapy. I got a lot of intensive help from a wonderful physical therapy friend and the professionals at the clinic I went to every day. A lot of exercise, a lot of patience, a lot of pain.
Of everything, this “accident” (in quotes because perhaps this has been one of the biggest things that’s happened to me in the past months) the strangest part was not being able to cycle. It had been 15 weeks without riding my bike, right before my trip.
I got medical release on a Thursday, February 18th, and I left on Sunday, February 21st. I packaged my bike and promised her, before I closed the box, that we would have a ride as soon as we got to the US. Upon arriving at the airport I saw the bike box was open on the bottom. I looked the bike over and it seemed ok.
When I got to the apartment where I’d be staying, I went to put the bike together and found that some of the parts of the steering mechanism were missing. They had, probably, fallen out during the customs inspection. I went to some bike shops and left it at one that promised to get it serviced the next day.
I needed to travel and I couldn’t get my bike but I went to a city not far from Tampa called St. Petersburg where I found a bike to ride. A super comfortable “beach bike” with pedal brakes. It was cold and threatening rain but I was really curious (and a little afraid) to ride and see how my feet were going to feel.
The video is about this happiness, it was like riding for the first time. I have no idea if my feet hurt or not…I can’t remember but I remember smiling at everyone I saw, my hair totally messed up in the cold wind.