This year on the 10th of January, I suffered a rupture of the Achilles tendon in a G.O.O.D. Music crew “pick- up” basketball game in Honolulu ( Jan 12 blogpost). I had recently had a conversation with someone, I don’t remember who, when or where, about an Achilles rupture and I remembered it being an injury about which I understood very little. I recall the eery feeling I had felt when the conversation drifted into a vivid description of the severed tendon crawling up the back of one’s leg and then having to be surgically pulled back together and sewn. I remember thinking that it must be something very uncommon because I couldn’t remember anyone I had known to have ever experienced it. I remember remembering that conversation the instant I fell to the court. Anyway, what had happened wuz.. Cousin Ricky was bout to inbound the ball from the half court line (in a full court game) and I’m playing ‘D’ on Kanye who was the closest player to him. I’m anticipating the pass and thinking I’m gonna break on the pass and make the interception and head the other way, but the moment I shifted my weight to the front left foot to make the move, it popped. I don’t even think I moved – it was like I was thinking about moving. It felt like either someone had hit me with a bat or a ninja had run up the back of my leg. My first thought was that someone was getting “a little over zealous out here”. Who did that ?!” Everyone was looking like, “What the hell he talkin ’bout?” I wasn’t buying it, so I said it again, “Who kicked me?” I looked around and everyone else was still in the same spot as they were before the play had started…. because the play had never started. That’s when I knew what I knew…
The myth of Achilles is an interesting one. Here’s Wikipedia’s version: Thetis, Achilles mother was informed in the state when Achilles was a baby, that in one of his battles he would die from an arrow. Thetis being only a mother, did not want her son to die. So Thetis took Achilles to a river and dipped his body into the magical river; holding him by the heel. But Achilles’s heel would be unprotected because the water did not touch it. The magical river was supposed to release its powers to someone who touched it in a specific spot, and would only work on that spot making who ever touched it invulnerable. So as he grew up, Achilles grew to be a man of war. He survived many great battles. But one day an arrow was shot to his heel, killing him instantly. Therefore destiny is destiny and shouldn’t be over-looked. But in his years people will remember Achilles as one of the greatest fighters who ever lived.
I remembered the emergency room personnel saying that everyone who had suffered that injury described the sensation exactly as I had. I remember random strangers, countless times, say how they had experienced the same injury, while playing tennis or basketball. How could this be? I remembered thinking it was maybe like when you buy a black Mini Cooper with racing stripes (you know I’m obsessed with those cars), you instantly start to see black Mini Coopers with racing stripes, everywhere.
So last month in a soccer match, David Beckham tore his Achilles, completely! No World Cup for Super Dave! A few days later, Michigan State basketball star Kalin Lucas ruptured his, just as the NCAA tournament began. No Championship dreams for Sweet Lu! Recently, as Tiger Woods embarked on his comeback, he revealed that he had suffered a rupture of his Achilles in 09 and still played?? I don’t know how in the hell he did that. maybe it was just a nick.. nonetheless, uncanny! Game 1 of the Utah vs. Denver N.B.A. playoff series, Utah center Memet Okur goes down… ruptured Achilles tendon… Good luck Jazz..
So where am I going with this?… frankly, I don’t know but, I do believe that such occurences sweep through the universe in waves and a season of Achilles ruptures seem to be on the land. Also, Achilles was supposedly invincible and wore a coat of armour for additional protection, yet still an arrow to the heel, the only exposed area of his, otherwise, inpenetratable body killed him! A chink in the armour.
The lifestyle of an entertainer is a fast one lived in fast cities and airports. Sometimes multiple countries in a day. It’s a lifestyle that could easily give someone a feeling of invincibility. Okay, I think I may have my bearings now. That Achilles rupture… that little snap in that little bitty heel that renders you, ummm, basically cripple is a symbolic occurence. There’s a chink in all of our armour, somewhere. It’s been four and a half months now and the strength in my left leg is still only about fifty per cent, I still can’t do a toe raise, I still have a slight limp, can’t run or jump and the left calf muscle is only half the size of the right one. I remember sloooooowing down, not by choice, but slowing down so much that I saw life a different way, seeing things that you just don’t see when your moving fast. I seem to notice the small details now and that’s a good thing… but I can’t wait to run again!!!