Stress Fracture


“Don’t stop.”

“Just keep moving.”

“One foot in front of the other”

“Everything is fine.”

“Don’t complain, just keep doing.”

“Keep calm and carry on.”

Sound familiar?

Sound dangerous?

That’s what we do right? We push through.

“When the going gets tough, the tough keep going.”

That is me.

I’m working towards this amazing goal. This bright shining bacon of accomplishment. Everyone is excited and anticipatory for the end.

But what of the time and distance inbetween. What toll does that take?

Repetitive stress injury

Remember how I’ve written herehere, and here about this compulsion to move forward beyond my boundaries– to go, to see?

Eventually our bodies rebel.

Injured FootIn reading about it in the last 24 hours I’ve learned a little about repetitive stress injuries, stress fractures among them. Unlike a sprain or traumatically forceful break, a stress fracture happens when your muscles actually slowly break your bones (esp those of the foot).

It happens when you’re doing the same (bad) thing over and over again.

Muscles constricted + forced movement = fracture.

Stress is the loud snapping injury.

Anxiety breaks us slowly.

Anxiousness confines our strides to the same hurtful paths we have traversed repetitively before until we quietly break.

It is what happens when you keep grinding past your boundaries without listening to the warning signs.


Finally, finally on my drive to Chicago I was able to unlatch the door to the hidden combustion engine that has been diving my compulsions over the last weeks and months. I was able to give it a name.

Jos Boot 2012


When so caught up with the fabulousness, excitement, anticipation, and yes, even logistics of my travel to Florence for the next year I was unable to pinpoint that (duh!) it is a pretty huge life shift and just maybe I have some fears and anxiety underlying it all.

Once named it can be faced.

And booted.

Ok I think I have stretched the metaphor almost as far as it can go. I’ve gotten myself the boot — the support to keep moving — albeit a little more slowly and with more self care.

Instead of just going-going and toughing it out, I’m able to connect with my emotions and sort them properly. With attention I can calm the engine of anxiety a bit and feel much better as a result.

Oh, and I’m not doing my psyche permanent damage.

Whats with the foot?

I did the 31 miles for 31 Heroes event on Sunday in DC. About 11 miles in I was in a good deal of pain but instead of calling it quits I did what I do: I pushed on.

By not listening to my body and just finding a way to continue (via switching shoes to my Vibrams) I gave myself a repetitive stress injury. 

So I’m in a boot for (at least) the next 2 weeks. Not the best for trekking around NYC but just in the last 24 hours of knowing what is going on, how to take care of it better, and a little compression and support, I’m in a lot less pain and moving much better.

Boot and BeerI’m not grinding to a halt, I am going forth more healthfully. 

Our body has the ability to break itself through grinding yet can also find well worn paths to bliss. Following our feet back to familiar ground amongst friends… or at least a friendly barkeep who plays oldies and pours you a fantastic double stout without asking even after a 9 month lapse… well that can repair our souls.

The wonderful key is in the balance of challenging ourselves forward and finding the routines and places that help us heal.

For now I sit in my old local, recognizing familiar faces even after so much time passed. I’m sipping a dark beer, poured without naming it and feeling content to write as the barrage of sound and movement washes past and through my go-go soul.

Always be IN,

Jo Signature


  1. […] my Vibrams and sole of my foot in Paris was particularly vexing and of course I dealt with the stress fracture of 31 heroes by rucking […]

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