When you spend all your life aiming for as much water time as possible the last thing you want is some form of injury which prohibits you from doing so.
Snapping yourself, however minor, is the stuff of nightmares for water sports enthusiasts.
While out windsurfing yesterday my sail decided to attack me and rip my big toe nail off as I exited a forward loop.
Almost immediately I felt a burning sensation engulf my left foot and as I made my way back to the beach (which is no mean feat when you can’t place your foot in the footstrap) blood started to pour over the deck of my board and I knew my session was ‘game over’.
Gingerly making my way back to my van I could see the nail was detached from my toe and all I could think of was missing the next session!
Could be worse
In the grand scheme of things though a torn toe nail is not that big a deal really. Inconvenient and a little sore but it’s not as bad as a fractured bone – or worse.
A few years ago I busted my ankle (see main pic) after slipping off a sea defence in the snow – stupid! The break put me in plaster and out of action for a few months.
When I was initially inspected by one of the nurses at the local hospital they told me it was quite a bad break and that I might never surf or windsurf again.
Quite stubbornly I told everyone within ear shot that wasn’t going to happen and that I’d be up and at it again in no time!
I was adamant that nothing was going to keep me out of the water. Even if it took time I would be back in action as soon as possible.
To put the situation into context – my boss at the time admitted that if the same thing had happened to him then he wouldn’t have been that bothered as he spent much of his life sitting down anyway.
He knew though that it was much different for me as my whole life revolves around wind and waves – I also need my ankles for playing drums.
Watching the Paralympic Opening Ceremony I was in absolute awe of these brave souls who have been dealt the most severe fate possible. But in all of these situations the athletes in question have picked themselves up and cracked on with the job in hand. In many cases they are better off than being able bodied.
Panicking over a torn toe nail palls into insignificance compared to what these inspirational characters have been through.
I’m not sure I would be as positive. Fingers crossed I’ll never have to find out.
My only hope is that I stay fit and healthy and never have to deal with anything similar to that of the Paralympic athletes.
I think we should all though take a leaf out of their book and try and make every day count as who knows what’s around the next corner.