I recently sprained my ankle, and the first question everyone asks is: “How did it happen?”

I tripped.

That’s it.

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I was at the gas station, and when I was walking back to my car, I tripped and my ankle twisted.  I wasn’t running, playing a sport, or doing anything crazy like cliff jumping or running a marathon in stilettos.

sprainedankle_runningamarathon in high heels (1024x682)

I wish I had a cooler story to tell, but the truth is that I’m a complete klutz and this isn’t the first time I’ve injured my ankle.

It’s ridiculously easy to do, and this recent experience got me thinking about everything I’ve learned each time I’ve broken or sprained an ankle.

Health insurance is a necessity.

Frugal people have health insurance.  I’m young and healthy, but you never know what life has in store for you.  You could trip, and in a split second, sprain your ankle or break a leg.  Urgent care visits, X-rays, casts, and/or surgery could cost hundreds to thousands of dollars without health insurance.  Going without health insurance isn’t worth the risk.

Also, due to the Affordable Care Act, anyone without health insurance now has to pay a fine to the government at tax time.

Low-quality shoes are a frugal fail.

Cheap quality shoes are a common cause of sprained ankles.  When I sprained my ankle recently, I was actually wearing expensive boots that my mom bought for me years ago.  They were good quality at one time, but they were quite old and the leather had become bent out of shape.  I tripped in them a couple of times (which should’ve been a sign to stop wearing them) before I sprained my ankle.

I also sprained my ankle once in college after falling down a flight of stairs while wearing a pair of cheap clogs.  I threw the clogs away immediately afterward, which was for the best in terms of safety and fashion sense.

We need to rest more.

I injured my ankle on a Saturday morning, and I spent the entire weekend propping my ankle up on a pillow and icing it.  It’s very unusual for me to rest so much on a weekend, and it made me realize how little time I spend resting.  I’m an introvert, so I don’t keep my weekends jam packed full of outings with friends, and I always carve out plenty of time for myself.  However, that time is spent being the productive, Type-A person that I am – I spend my free time cleaning, organizing, running errands, preparing food for the week, working out, and maintaining this blog.

Even when I’m “relaxing”, I spend most of that time plugged into social media.  I very, very rarely just do nothing.  While I was laid up with a puffy ankle, I actually rested.  I did nothing.  And it felt amazing.  I felt recharged and refreshed, and I realized that I need to rest more often.

Exercise gives me tons of energy.

After resting for a couple of days, the only significant change I’ve made to my routine is that I’ve stopped working out (temporarily).  I’ve found that I feel tired all the time.  I didn’t realize just how much energy I was gaining from exercising.  I can’t wait to start exercising again, but it’s best not to rush it after an injury – my ankle needs time to heal.

A final note!

Sometimes it takes an unfortunate event to teach us important lessons in life.  I am resolving to rest more often, invest in a few pairs of high-quality shoes, never go without health insurance, and to exercise daily after my ankle has had time to properly heal.

Have you ever had a sprain or broken bone?  What did you learn from the experience?

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