An important lesson

ankle cast

I had a motorbike accident last week, and it’s taught me a number of lessons. I thought I might share them here.

1. Don’t ride motorbikes when there is a chance of the roads being icy

I woke up having already decided to ride my bike to work. The morning was cold, and although there was no ice on the roads where I lived, nearer to my workplace the roads were completely frozen.

2. Make sure you wear all your safety equipment

I broke my ankle in the accident, but didn’t have a scratch on me otherwise. I suspect the only reason I broke my ankle was that I was not wearing my boots properly. I had pulled them on but not bothered fastening them correctly.

3. You are not invincible

This is the first time I have ever hurt myself seriously, and in a way it’s a bit of a wake-up call. I’m not invincible, and I can get hurt.

4. Being injured is horrible

Having a broken ankle is incredibly inconvenient. It takes 3-5 times as long to do anything (and I mean, anything, from getting dressed to getting a tissue to going to the toilet to going to get lunch). I’m relatively fortunate as well: I’m only 35, I am fairly fit so can stand up using just one leg, can hop around, can lift myself up using my arms… I can’t imagine how unpleasant this would be if I were older or less physically able.

5. It’s really hard to carry things in your hands when you are on crutches

I’ve had about ten days to learn to improvise, swallow my pride and ask strangers to help me, and just give up on doing certain things. Carrying cups of liquid or plates with food is pretty much impossible.

6. People noticing you need help and offering it is priceless

It’s amazing how much it means for someone to notice that you need help and offer it. Not many people do. I will certainly try to be more aware and mindful in the future.

7. Being fit and healthy is priceless

We can protect ourselves from injury and minimize the discomfort/inconvenience by staying fit and healthy. I think everyone needs some form of weight training (to keep muscles strong and bones dense) and endurance training (to keep fit and healthy).

As soon as I get this cast off I am going back to the gym to continue my weight training (you can see the program I use here). As for the motorbike? I may stick to my bicycle from now on πŸ™‚

Get well soon!

Thanks Guy! I think it will be at least another three weeks πŸ™

I hope you will get better soon!

Thanks Shinji! I hope I’ll recover before classes start, but that might be a bit optimistic…

22 Mar 2013, 4:49pm
by Mark Kulek


Bad news Ben.
I’m glad it was only your ankle.
I also broke my ankle years ago skydiving. I know all about poor equipment.
Cheers to a quick recovery.
Mark in Gifu

23 Mar 2013, 1:22pm
by Noriko Shida


??????????????????????????????????????????) ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Ben????????

Hi Noriko
Unfortunately this blog can’t handle Japanese… sorry πŸ™
Thanks for stopping by though!

23 Mar 2013, 1:47pm
by Noriko Shida


I wrote you a note in Japanese, and figured out it doesn’t work here. So I’ll try in English. You must have been hard time but good chance as well. You have learned some wisdom which you never notice when you’re healthy.
Did I tell you I’m teaching Japanese at the class in Engineering Department, Tohoku University.
It’s getting worm….SPRING!! Hope you get well soon, but NEVER rush!

Hi Noriko

Thanks! I will be more careful in the future… Great news that we’ll be colleagues from this April πŸ™‚

24 Mar 2013, 4:56pm
by Noriko Shida


we have already been colleagues since 2 years ago, I’m working in Aobayama campus and not full time though.

[…] long-time readers will know, I broke my ankle in March. It still hurts from time to time, but I think it’s pretty much as recovered as it is going […]


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