It was Monday, March 28th, 2005.
It was “Easter Monday”, and thus a national holiday here in Ireland. My fiancée Sandra and I went for a walk down Dun Laoghaire pier, then got the DART train back to Blackrock where we stopped in a pub called O’Rourkes for lunch and a few drinks. A friend of hers joined us with her boyfriend for a while before they had to go home. As afternoon turned to evening, we decided to go into downtown Dublin and see what was happening there, maybe take in a club.
The toilets in O’Rourke’s are upstairs. As we were halfway through our last drink before setting off, I had to visit them. As I came back down the stairs, my coordination failed me to the tune of reaching my right leg out towards the bottom floor about two steps too soon. As a result, my standing foot landed awkwardly, forcing my ankle to twist under the quite considerable force of my total body weight coming from above. The bend lasted a split second before recoiling, but boy, was it sore.
There was a man on the payphone beside the stairs, and he had ringside seats to my spill. In a way, it was lucky for me that he chose to laugh at my mishap, because it got my adrenaline pumping enough for me to be able to walk relatively normally away from him until I got back to our table.
“Hey, why don’t we get one more before we go into town?” Sandra said without looking up.
By now, the pain was excruciating.
“Sandra, we have to go. I’ll explain outside, but can we please, please, go NOW.”
“Why? What happened?”
“PLEASE, like I said, I’ll tell you outside, can we just go right now?”
She had to visit the ladies room herself first, so I hobbled outside to wait for her and assess the damage. Although the pain was immense, my first fears that I had broken something were dispelled quickly.
This being ascertained, I knew the last thing I wanted to do was spend the next six to whatever hours in an emergency ward explaining how I was drunk and missed a few steps to a dozen different people. And so, by the time Sandra emerged from the pub, I was well prepared to thwart her attempts to persuade me to seek professional help.
And so our night’s revelry was curtailed and we went back to her place. Although my foot swelled up so much I couldn’t tie my shoelaces, I was able to walk within a couple of days.
The most annoying part of the whole episode, however, was the fact that I had psyched myself up to start jogging again the following morning. I used to jog all the time in my early twenties, but take your pick from work, kids, laziness, age or combinations thereof for reasons why it had been years since I had done so regularly.
The extra pints had made me postpone my plan to the Wednesday, but the fall looked like it would do so for a lot longer. At least I was able to walk and more importantly drive within a few days.
In the end I put the whole thing down to one of those nasty freak accidents that seem to regularly happen to me.
It was Friday, April 15th, 2005.
I was having a few pints in a pub called Neary’s in the centre of Dublin with a friend called John Hyland. We planned to drive out to the west of the country to visit our mutual buddy Alan Conlon in his hometown the following morning. As it happened, these “few pints” were going down so well, it looked like we may not actually set off until the following afternoon.
“Did you ever start up the jogging again, man?” John asked me as he set another brace of Heinekens on the table.
“Jaysis, wait till I tell ya”, I replied, and proceeded to tell him all about my gravity-challenged Easter experience.
“Holy God, man, that shit keeps happenin to you, doesn’t it?”
“Hey, want to go to 'Break For The Border' after this one?”, he suggested, as that particular club was known to have a later closing time.
“Sure, no problem.”
The toilets in Neary’s are upstairs. As we were halfway through our last drink before setting off, I had to visit them. As I came back down the stairs, my coordination failed me to the tune of reaching my right foot out for the bottom level …
I think you get the idea. I did the exact same goddam thing again, only this time, to the OTHER ankle.
Imagine how I felt as I limped back to the table. How the hell can I explain this?
“What’s wrong, man?”
I think it was my face having turned a deep purple which prompted him to withdraw his query.
I really should not have travelled the following morning. The reason I did was that we had planned this trip for a while and since drinking was the principal pastime for the duration, being virtually legless to begin with wasn’t such a drawback. It kinda sucked that the apartment we rented for the night was at the top of six flights of stairs, however.
I managed to stagger through the weekend and have a good time with the guys.
So that’s it – I did the same thing to both ankles in the space of a few weeks. What made me think of it was the fact that I’m starting yet another fitness/diet regime this week, and after Day 3, it’s going well. Sandra has assumed the role of my “personal trainer”, and is responsible for both my food intake and exercise output for the immediate future.
I’ll keep you all posted as to the weight loss progress.
If my pride will allow it, I’ll try and do the same for the balance loss progress as well.