The last few days have been an ok start to the new year. But today was the first "adventure" of my new year.
During the beginning of the show I perform in a row boat out in the middle of the oceanarium pool. At the end of my solo, three of the synchronized swimmers swim out and pull the boat back to "shore". The shore is curved and depending on how the swimmers pull back the boat depends on where I can get out of the boat; whether the middle or one of the edges. The unfortunate part of getting out at the edge is there is a post protruding upward to tie the ropes around. If there was light this wouldn't be much of a problem, but the arena goes pitch black right before I have to exit the boat. And in addition to the lack of light, my foot is almost numb by then. The oceanarium water is very cold (just ask the swimmers) for the dolphins and before every show I walk through the water, soaking my feet in the frigid water. Then I lay in the boat "unconscious" for 10 minutes before I play my 5 minute solo. So by the time I get out of the boat my feet are numb.
Today, the only place I could exit the boat was the corner. My feet were numb and I couldn't feel where I was stepping and I kicked the post extremely hard. Hard enough to say ouch about 50 times, bite my lip until it bled, stand on one foot backstage and literally grin and bear it through the rest of the show. I tried my best not to hyperventilate on stage in my attempt to control the pain and tears as I stood in a small puddle of blood. I have no idea what the front row of the audience thought. I didn't move once I hobbled up onto the small stage. I played my part for the remainder of the show and as I tried to climb down from the stage the pain I'd been pushing away surged to the front of my brain and I limped and chocked my way back to stage exit.
After a long trip to the biggest city on the island to go to the only open hospital (today is Sunday so the others are all closed because apparently no one gets sick or injured on Sundays here) on the island. My toes are fine, just really bruised. The pain was so intense because of the numbness of my feet. The injured toes are wrapped in gauze to control the bleeding (I'll probably lose a nail or two) and I've spent the evening lounging around keeping my foot elevated.
But hey, I did get half the day off :)
For those interested, my toes have healed nicely. In fact, you can't even tell one toe was injured and it looks like I'll be keeping both my toe nails :)
It took a couple days of no left shoes and a couple more of careful walking in shoes and working out barefoot but I've been back to normal now and things are wonderful!