Ask Emma: I broke my foot and can’t do any of my summer plans

Hammock, start an outdoor garden, go camping; being injured doesn’t have to ruin your fun



Being injured might feel like it’s ruining your summer, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Emma has suggestions for activities that are still possible despite the circumstances.

EMMA LEDBETTER, Evergreen columnist

Dear Emma,

I am living in Pullman for the summer and I recently broke my foot. I’m not taking summer classes or working right now; I decided to stay because I am still paying rent and a few of my friends are also here. I had a lot of things planned — mainly outdoor activities that are OK with social distancing, like hiking and backpacking — but now I can’t do any of them for the next 6-8 weeks. 

I don’t know what I’m going to do if I have to stay inside for that long (although, it’s not like I haven’t been doing that for a while now). What do you suggest I do to stay occupied? 



Dear Hurting,

I am so sorry to hear about your injury. Hopefully the break is not bad and you’ll be able to walk around before you know it.

I’m going to give you a few suggestions, but first, I want to let you know that just because you aren’t able to walk or hike right now, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the great outdoors. It may take some creativity on your part, but there are plenty of ways for you to get outside.

Do you own a hammock or know someone who does? If not, it may be time to order one online. Hammocking (as long as you stay low to the ground) is a great way to spend time in nature if you are on crutches and can’t go very far from your home. 

Another idea is to buy seeds and plant an outdoor garden. I don’t know what your living situation is like, but if you have a window sill or small patch of ground outside, this is completely feasible. This spring, I bought seeds for a type of flower called candytufts and planted them in little pots in my dorm room window. It was a lot of fun to watch them sprout and I was able to plant them outside when I got home. This might not take up as much time as you would like, but it’s worth a try!

If you have a car and are able to drive with a broken foot — or if one of your friends doesn’t mind driving you places — I recommend you get in the car and just go (anywhere). There are a lot of roads around Pullman that lead to unexpected places! One of my favorites is a road between Pullman and Genesee that winds through some wheat fields. There is a big hill and when you reach the crest, you have an awesome view for miles and miles. See if you can find the road I’m talking about. 

If you are into photography, you could always bring your camera on a drive and see what objects or people catch your eye. 

Finally, go camping. If you planned to go hiking or backpacking, camping is an easy and fun substitution because you probably have most of the gear you need. Be sure to do research ahead of time to find out what campsites are open. Take a couple of your friends and spend the weekend relaxing. You may not be able to venture far from your campsite, but at least you’ll be outside, and isn’t that all you can really ask for?

I hope these suggestions help. Remember, if you really feel like you shouldn’t be going outside, there are plenty of indoor projects you can tackle, which I wrote about last week

You got this! And 2020 really do be like that. 

Take care,