In which I practice self-care, turn into the hunchback of Notre Dame De Grace and still go on Vacation

In which I practice self-care, turn into the hunchback of Notre Dame De Grace and still go on Vacation

Monday afternoon, 3 days before our departure date, I participated enthusiastically in Self-Care day at work. We had various workshops to choose from, including natural soap making, cooking, arts and crafts etc…

In the spirit of preparing for what I had decided was going to be the most restful, reflective and rejuvenating vacation of my life, I chose a 13 minute massage followed by yoga.

One of my colleagues got a foot cramp during her practice, another couldn’t find a painless sitting position and a third pulled her back during a strengthening pose. But they are so much younger and fitter, I thought to myself, while marvelling at my own flexibility.

Strap in hand, and wrapped around my right foot, I extended my leg to the side and lowered it almost to the ground. I couldn’t help but notice that I was able to reach more closely to the mat than anyone else in the class.

I can’t believe how well I’m doing, I thought. I can’t believe this doesn’t hurt!

Tuesday afternoon, I started to feel a nagging pull in the groin area.

Wednesday it hurt more and more to walk as the day progressed.

Thursday I was limping like the hunchback of Notre Dame (de Grace) and Jo was starting to look into our trip cancellation policy.

I’m fine! I said, lifting my right leg with both of my hands and heaving it upward, my foot landing heavily on each step it landed on.

I fought back tears throughout my pedicure.

“Yes, yes I’m fine, madame is fine, thank you.”

I’m not sure what was more upsetting, the sheer pain shooting through my groin and radiating through my hip and down my thighs, or paying to have the calluses on my right foot pet by a frightened pedicurist who  kept wincing at me (with me) every time she moved my leg.

I reassured her gently and even encouraged her, to no avail, while screaming in my head,

”I’m FINE!! Make me pretty!! I’m going on vacation!!!”

I could see in her eyes that Jo had moved on and started a short list in her head of friends she might invite to replace me on our 2 1/2 week Greek get-away.

”I’m fine!”

I texted my entire medical team (my mom, my boss, and my two closest friends, Other-Jen and Nanci), all of whom threatened me with bodily harm if I didn’t “take an anti-inflammatory, ice your crotch and get on the GOD DAMNED PLANE!!!”

I rolled my luggage, and my body, down our front stairs and into the cab. I hurled myself out of the car and cursed Jo under my breath for insisting that the cabbie drop us off at Canadian arrivals “because it will be so much less crowded” instead of driving us to international departures a kilometre further and up on the second floor.

”I’m fine!!!” I gently reassured her when she asked for the 2,000th time if I was sure I wanted to “do this”.

Jo tore my baggage from my hands with a heaving sigh that could be heard throughout the land, and dragged it it behind her cursing me to no end,

I dragged my body through security, gnawing on my options, my dignity and a mouthful of Advil gel caps.

We were sitting on the plane, seat belts fastened, trays in an upright position and waiting for a charming announcement from our captain. Jo looked at me as if to say, “you’re sure you wan…”

”I swear to God, if I am crippled and writhing in agony and thoughts of self-amputation for the next 2 weeks, I am doing it to the smell of lavender and wild fennel, to the sound of the crashing waves of the Mediterranean Sea, and surrounded by mountain goats; not at home, to the smell of  the compost bin, the sound of the upstairs neighbour clogging (or Phoebe in false labour), suffocating on mountains of cat hair.”.


Tune in for the next post; A one-legged adventure in Amsterdam.


Jo the Sherpa


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