You place your feet carefully, bracing yourself for each shift of weight and how that will transmit to the rest of your body. It's a conscious effort, designed to prepare for that impact and protect the damaged part of your body. Movements that are usually fluid and unconscious take planning and effort, but all of that pays off when you make it across the room without increasing the pain load.
Then you step on the toy. You know, that little toy Monster truck your son loves so much. The one that he took to your parents farm and left on the floor. The one that the loveable golden retriever chewed the wheels off of in a show of jealousy because he suddenly had competition for affection. The one that your father crafted wooden wheels for on his lathe. That one.
The unexpected weight shift normally wouldn't be a big thing, as you're usually fairly agile. But it is, because you're not right now. Your lower back is kinda twisted up from carrying your son on a hike over uneven ground in a backpack that wasn't properly adjusted. That toy-induced shift brings the reason for walking so carefully into painfully sharp focus.
You emit a soft whimper, because that's all you can manage. A couple minutes later you resume breathing. A couple minutes after that you begin moving again, this time straight for the bottle of Motrin. Good ol' Vitamin M. You're my only friend.
Good thing you don't have any big races coming up, or this would be a problem.


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