Every Step You Take, Every Toe You Break

By: Sam Beebe

Three years ago, I broke my toe when I went outside at night, barefoot, to admire the stars, and stubbed it on a rock. After that, I told myself it was time to stop running around barefoot and resolved to always wear shoes, both indoors and out. Protective footwear would be my new way of life. No more broken toes for me!

So naturally, on the last day of a recent spa vacation, after placing my shoes beside the bed before I turned in so that I wouldn‘t even have to cross the room without them, I got out of bed in the middle of the night, tripped over a shoe… and broke my toe.

(Ironic? You bet. Although not quite as ironic as the friend who got up one night during a ski vacation, tripped over a ski boot, and broke his leg.)

At 60, so many things that were once new are now routine. Especially medical things. Because this was the third time I‘d broken a toe, I knew the drill.

I saw my doctor the next day. He took an X-ray. I was issued a large black Medical Moon Boot, which would immobilize my toe, and told to stay off my feet for a week.

I turned to my Facebook friends for consolation. They responded with comments like: “Call a toe truck!” “What position were you and Mark attempting?” “I hate it when that happens.“ And “I’ll say a prayer to St. Anatoly of Boca, the patron saint of people who injure themselves on vacation.”

So there I was with a broken toe. Again. What to do? Stay off my feet. Catch up on my reading. And, to hasten the healing process, try some “positive affirmations,” or, as I have always thought of them, “bullshit.“

I looked up a few on the internet, then modified them to be toe-applicable.

My toe is sturdy and will heal quickly.

Every day in every way my toe is getting healthier and healthier.

The universe is kind and will help my toe become whole.

For comic relief, I started cracking myself up by singing pop tunes about heartbreak, replacing the word “heart” with “toe.“

“You know, if you break my toe I’ll go, but I’ll be back again.”

“Don’t go breaking my toe.”

“Stop draggin’ my toe around…”

Soon I was alternating between toe healing affirmations and broken toe pop tunes.

As time passes, my toe grows ever stronger.

“Don’t tell my toe, my achy breaky toe…”

Every day my toe is better than the previous day.

“Don’t break the toe that loves you.”

Every cell in my body is healthy and radiates health. Especially my toe cells.

“What becomes of the broken-toed?“

A healthy toe is my divine right and I claim it now.

“My toe will go on.“

I breathe deeply and every breath energizes my toe’s healing properties.

“Total eclipse of the Toe!”

“Take another little piece of my toe!”

And of course, that Hank Williams standard, “Your cheatin’ toe.”

By the time I’m back on my feet, I’ll have enough material for both a fabulous Broken Toe Mix Tape, and a fat collection of Toe-Healing Affirmations, to save for the next time I break a toe.

But there won’t be a next time. I’m going to make sure this doesn’t happen again. Even if I have to start sleeping with my shoes on. Showering with my shoes on. Swimming with my shoes on! Whatever it takes. When it comes to foot protection, from now on, I plan to stay — you‘ll pardon the expression –on my toes.

I just hope that in my Trip Advisor review, I’ll be able to stop myself from referring to the fabulous luxury resort where the incident took place as “Toe Break Hotel.”

(Roz Warren is the author of OUR BODIES, OUR SHELVES: A COLLECTION OF LIBRARY HUMOR.  This piece was first published on Zestnow.)

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4 thoughts on “Every Step You Take, Every Toe You Break”

  1. Why is it that I now have the theme song from Frozen stuck in my head again? (Or at least the version a two-year old still learning to talk would sing!)
    “Let it TOE, let it toe, let it toe, let it … ”
    So sorry Roz- hope you are soon on the mend!

  2. Some toe tips for you, Roz: Eat some Fritos, sip some mojitos, and put on some music—preferably “Rozanna” by Toto.

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