Life is hard and toes are fragile, which means that by the time you reach our age, you’ve probably broken one. Or two. I recently broke a toe when I got out of bed in the middle of the night and tripped over a shoe. When friends and family consoled me with their own Toe Break Tales, I learned that there are more ways to break a toe than you could possibly imagine. Intrigued, I turned to my Facebook friends. “Have you ever broken a toe?” I asked. “Tell me how it happened.” Here’s a sampling of their responses.
Are You Active? Watch Your Toes!
I broke my pinky toe sliding into third base.
I broke my toe playing Frisbee outside with friends barefoot. Was alcohol involved? Maybe.
I used to exercise by dancing around my house. I twirled too close to a stone table. Ouch.
Athletes Break Their Toes. But Intellectuals Do, Too.
I broke my toe when I tripped over my two=volume slipcase edition of The Riverside Shakespeare.
Running barefoot down a basement hallway at a writers’ workshop, I broke my right big toe when I caught it in the bottom of my trouser leg.
I broke my toe in a car crash on the way to the library.
Gravity Is Your Toe’s Natural Enemy
I dropped a can of Progresso minestrone soup on my big toe.
I opened the freezer door and a 10-pound roast fell out onto my foot.
A jar of Salsa fell on my toe from the top of a cabinet.
I dropped a terra cotta pot on my baby toe. Yesterday.
I removed my suitcase from an airplane’s overhead rack and dropped it on my little toe.
For Some People, Broken Toes Are a Way Of Life:
I’ve broken the little toe on my right foot so many times I’ve lost count.
I’m barefoot on a boat for most of the summer and am always breaking or stubbing toes.
I’ve broken the same baby toe three times!
I seem to have found my Superpower—hooking my toe on a piece of furniture while momentum works its magic, keeping the rest of my body moving forward. I’ve done this many times.
There’s No Good Time To Break a Toe . . . But Some Times Are Worse Than Others
The morning of my son’s First Communion, I dropped a pizza stone on my foot.
I dropped a large flashlight on my big toe as I was getting ready to go out to dinner on Valentine’s Day.
I smashed my toe into a laundry basket three weeks before running a half marathon.
A Toe Break Can Contain a Valuable Life Lesson
I was carrying a large basket of dirty clothes and tripped over the small bathroom garbage can I’d forgotten I’d put at the top of the stairs in the hope that someone else would carry it down. Lesson learned? Do it yourself!
I was about to carry a basket of laundry down the stairs in my stocking feet when my husband said, “Put your slippers on, you’re going to slip.” I ignored him, slipped, and broke both my big toe and my pinky. Next time, maybe I’ll listen.
Your House Is Out to Get You!
I fell down a flight of steps and broke my big toe.
I caught my pinky toe on the edge of a door.
I rammed my toe into the metal leg of a radiator.
I slammed my foot into a wooden stair riser.
And Watch Out for the Furniture!
I broke my toe on a glass coffee table.
I stubbed my toe on a bedpost.
I stubbed it on the dining room table of a vacation rental.
I broke the same baby toe on the same dining room chair chasing different toddlers in different years.
Things Left on the Floor May Be Hazardous to Your Toes
During our last move, there was a pile of packing paper on the kitchen floor. I ran into it and broke my pinky toe. (Who breaks their toe on PAPER?)
I caught my little toe on a toy my grandson left on the hallway floor.
Follow Your Bliss—and Break Your Toe!
I broke my toe on the Appalachian Trail in Maine.
I broke my toe when I went outside, barefoot, to admire the stars and stubbed it on a rock.
I broke my middle toe in the dang pool. (I told my husband I was going to start wearing combat boots, even in the pool.)
Horses and Toes Don’t Mix
I broke my toe horseback riding when I was 12.
Two different horses, ten years apart, stepped on my pinky toe and broke it.
Your Toe Can Break When You Least Expect It
I broke my big toe coming down from a headstand.
My mother-in-law broke 3 toes putting her shoes on.
I broke my toe at chapel when it got caught in a folding chair.
My baby toe broke when my husband dropped his crutches on it.
The Worst Toe Breaks of All? The Ones with Added Angst
I tripped over a concrete barrier and broke my toe on the way into the pharmacy to pick up drugs to treat a yeast infection. Insult to injury, for sure.
I broke my toe when I stubbed it on a chair as I rushed to answer the phone. It was an obscene phone call.
And Keep in Mind That Karma Is a Bitch
My friend kicked her husband and broke her toe.
The Only Way to Avoid a Broken Toe?
Stay home. In bed. With your shoes on. Which is no way to live. So go out and embrace life! You’ll probably break a toe. But it will heal.
And remember this: A broken toe is no fun. But it beats having a broken heart.
Previously published on Women’s Voices for Change