Yesterday marked exactly five weeks since I had my surgery and if all goes according to plan, I should be getting my cast removed on Monday and getting a boot, which I will have to wear for another 6 weeks:-( To say that these weeks have not been trying and frustrating, at times humbling and other times aggravating, would be a great understatement. Anyone who knows me though knows that what I may lack in other areas, I definitely make up for in being able to make the best out of any situation. Maybe it's all my years of jumping and competing but I just seem to have an innate ability to not focus on the negatives and to just maintain a healthy optimism.
That ability has certainly been put to the test in these weeks. I did manage to still keep some portions of the schedule I had planned for myself prior to my injury and just refused to allow for too many moments of self-pity. For all the trouble it's been living in a 3 story apartment, having to go up and down the stairs every day, falling 3 times (twice very badly), I started thinking yesterday about all the blessings that I've also had during this time.
For obvious reasons, you are FORCED to just slow down figuratively and literally, and take a look at your life. I've been ripping and running for the better part of 15 plus years, never slowing down, never really looking around me to truly appreciate all that I've been blessed with. I began compiling in my mind all the things that I've come to realize and appreciate over the past 5 weeks. Here are my top 10 things, in no particular order:
1) Who knew that people were SO helpful?? Being on crutches has allowed me to see the best in people - I've had more doors opened for me, my gas pumped, errands ran, bags carried. If you think everyone around you is cynical, just break a leg or tear a tendon and get on some crutches, lol and you will see the true humanity of complete strangers.
2) I've met some REALLY outstanding people recently, just because I've been able to take the time to do a few more things socially - Events or outings I would have never gone to had I been on my usual busy/hectic training and travel schedule.
3) I've been reading some really good books.
4) I've had the chance to see my parents and my brother far more often than I normally would be able to just because I've had the time to.
5) I'm pretty sure I've caught up on all my beauty rest:-). When you train as hard as we do and travel all the time, your body just is completely over-extended and often exhausted and I am definitely rested lol.
6) I've been able to communicate/stay in touch with my friends a lot more frequently. Instead of just thinking I should call or talk to someone, I've just done it!
7) I think because I've been a pretty healthy person, I've taken for granted the fact that my body functions properly, arms, legs, mind, everything - when you're incapacitated yourself, you actually tend to realize just how many other people are in your same predicament, if not worse. The other day when I wasn't feeling too good because I had fallen, I saw this guy go by on crutches as well and was about to tell myself, yep there's another one just like me....and then I looked more closely and saw that he only had one leg! Whatever I was feeling vanished in an instant because the truth is, in a matter of weeks, I will be able to walk again. Not so for this guy. So....GET OVER IT Jackie!!
8) I've actually learned how to ask for help. I'm still working on this one. I like to be independent and feel that I get things done myself. Plus I hate bothering people, but I've become aware that there are simply times in your life when you just need help. Plain and simple. There are no awards being handed out for taking 30 minutes to get my laundry basket up the stairs myself to the laundry room when I could just as easily ask my roommate for help, particularly when she's told me to ask her for help whenever I need it. (Learned that one the hard way:-/)
9) I don't have to be going at 100miles an hour to be productive. I'm involved in some relatively new work and I've realized that I can be effective right here from my bed. Just have to think outside the box a little and that in and of itself is rewarding and beneficial in the long run.
10) I HAVE GREAT FRIENDS! They have been here for me in every way - in thought, in words and in deeds. And I have really seen that now more clearly than ever.
While I wouldn't want to have to go through this experience again....I have to admit that this cloud has had the most beautiful silver lining and I can't really ask for much more than that!!
I gave my best...
6 years ago