On July 16, I slipped on a tray and fell into a half split. Initially I thought, I’m flexible, I’m ok right? Then I felt my foot turn and for a moment, I thought it popped all the way off like I was in a Quentin Tarantino film. Thankfully, it did not, but my ankle did turn about 90 degrees. After the initial shock wore off, I realized it was broken and I most likely would need surgery. I thought ok, now I can relax and wait for the ambulance. Unfortunately, the ambulance did not come in a timely manner. My sister Angela arrived, and with the help of “community”, got me in the car and we made our way to the hospital.
I directed the hospital staff to hold my injured leg so that I could lift my hips and scoot onto the stretcher. They were surprised at how calm I was. I attributed it to my yoga and mindfulness practice. I honestly wasn’t in that much pain – especially if I compared it to being in labor. I let out a high pitched shriek when they reset my foot and leg. I’m thankful to the doctor at Ochsner that held my hand and was so reassuring the entire time. I also told the staff I planned to open my yoga studio the following weekend and wanted to know how long I would be in the hospital. They told me I should be able to make it and informed me that I would need a brief outpatient surgery.
Time to Rest
The hardest part was when I returned home because I needed help to take off and put on clothes and needed to have my food brought to me. I thought I would exercise the next day, but my body decided that was not on the agenda. So, I gave myself permission to rest. It was now up to my Marley’s Dad, my sister Angela and my community to make sure we ate, and that she made it to dance camp and other appointments. Suddenly, vacuuming up every ounce of dog hair no longer seemed important or even wiping down the stove. I stopped worrying about if my car was clean enough or if we had enough clean towels. I slept and prepared to teach yoga from a chair. I slept and went through the Disney + catalog with Marley and did other things with her that Mommy usually doesn’t have time for. I slept and hopped around on my crutches and walker and did my best to stretch my injured leg. I slept and worked on City Planning assignments from my computer and am thankful that I can work from home and that I can still take off when I need to.
The Fleaux Goes On
Did I mention that the Grand Re-Opening of The Ohm Well in the Pythian Market went on as planned! My brother Webster came through and spent two days laying down our organic, biodegradable rugs, while my baby daddy managed the entire process and made time to bring me my matcha lattes. Our incredible teaching crew showed up and demoed while I tapped into my practice from my chair. After this flow, pain in my leg became tertiary. I felt amazing and it was some part of the laying of hands and “energy” from everyone that came out to bless the new space.
Reclamation of Space
Did you know that the Pythian Temple, was originally designed and built by the Colored Knights of Pythias and was an epicenter for cultural and commercial activity within the Black community. Check out more info here. As a black woman and a black business owner, this is such a beautiful reclamation of space to be in the Pythian. Join us as we keep the legacy black excellence alive.
Cultivating Accessible Spaces for All
Now, I’m post-surgery and as of today, I am now in a boot. It’s important to me to roll myself when I am in a wheelchair or to purposely use my crutches to get at least a little bit of exercise and to keep some autonomy. I even vacuumed my bedroom this morning with some assistance from Marley. Through all of this, I’ve been thinking of those that are differently abled all of the time and how they navigate through spaces and situations that aren’t always accessible. Simple things like making sure everyone can reach hand soap, a hand dryer or paper towels in public bathrooms should be a guarantee. ADA buttons that are designed to open doors should actually work. It’s disheartening to think you can open a door by yourself while using your mobility device, then realize you can’t and that you need to wait for assistance. Sure, it’s great to have help, but sometimes folks want the dignity to complete routine tasks on their own. There’s a lot as individuals and business owners that we can do to make public spaces more accessible to all. More ideas to come. But first, it’s time to rest!