“The most effective way to do it, is to do it.” ~ Amelia Earhart
If you’ve ever watched a surfer go through the waves it is symbolic of how to overcome obstacles in life.
It is not about going around what is lying in your path but rather making your way through it head held high so that when it arrives again you know what you are capable of and how to face it.
That surfer busts through each wave until they are far enough out in the water that they are able to catch that sweet ride back into shore.
When we are faced with a challenge, especially an unexpected one, the natural reaction can be to either crawl into a ball and hide in a corner until the situation passes you by or to look for the easiest way out. The truth is neither of these serves any purpose.
Meeting that challenge head on and then using every tool in your arsenal of support to get through it not only helps us to crush that obstacle but it show us that once it has been done once it can be done again.
As many of you know I had a cycling accident in November of 2015 that resulted in 3 of my vertebrae being fractured and caused swelling to one of my discs.
The outcome that was offered to me by professionals and friends alike was one of lengthy pain, discomfort and rehabilitation.
I took in that information, I thanked everyone for providing their input and then I decided I was going to make my recovery my own. I was going to listen to my body, follow the instructions given to me by my physical therapist and I was going to disregard any statistical averages for people in my position and instead concentrate on busting through the wave of my situation just like that surfer.
Little did I know at the time but I was not only drawing on my fighter spirit to move through this experience with determination and will, I was also learning about what was needed to face challenges yet to come.
A week ago I was informed that my date for an ankle fusion has arrived. I will be going in for the procedure on March 22nd. If you are interested in knowing what the procedure entails there is a short description in this video:
For those of you that aren’t familiar with my background, I was injured in a fall on ice 10 years ago in Calgary. That fall resulted in a total rotational dislocation of my ankle joint (my foot was backwards….yes, I said backwards…on my leg) and a broken fibula.
I was non-weight bearing for 9 months following that accident and was at a very unhealthy and inactive 250 lbs. I did not have the mental fortitude during that recovery to fight off the doubts, fears and negativities that so often accompany injury.
I had essentially written off any kind of activity in my future.
Once I accepted my “fate” was when my weight slowly crept to 300 lbs. I walked with a cane. I ate food not to nourish and heal my body but to cover up feelings of inadequacy and lack of motivation. Eventually arthritis set into the joint.
In 2007 shortly after relocating from Calgary to Victoria I was fitted with an AFO or Ankle Foot Orthosis Brace that looked like this:
It allowed for me to ditch my cane unless walking on a pool deck as the brace was not pool friendly however it did little to change my attitude or train of thought. I found it heavy and awkward and dreaded the challenge of finding shoes to fit it.
I couldn’t see the clear skies on the other side of the storm that I was trapped in. Then one day it all changed. A switch was flipped inside me and I knew I could never go back.
It was a moment that altered my course so much. I realized that the entire time I had been sitting accepting my defeat and calling it living but I wasn’t living at all. I was, in fact, dying. I refused to accept my “fate” anymore.
Fast forward to this phone call I received last week. My first feeling was one of relief that an end is in sight to my constant pain. My first thought was that I was so happy that my back was recovering at a rate where this operation was even possible. My body is now at a point where I can accommodate crutches yet again.
My next thought? Well it certainly was not one of dreading the outcome and was not in any way feeling like my future is going to be limited by this change.
Instead it was “Okay how am I going to make this journey my own, crush it and get on with living from here?”
See I no longer look at life as something that I need to hide from, that I need to avoid or that I need to be scared of. I no longer look at challenges as something that will stop me.
Instead I look at it like this. There are going to be moments where it all seems overwhelming like those large white cap waves but I am choosing to bust through it all and in doing that I will find the “pocket” where happiness resides.
To put it simply I will not let this or anything else I encounter in my life prevent me from following my passions or from enjoying the time I have in this life with my family and friends.
I choose to be effective and just do it.
Wherever you are, whatever you are doing I hope you are able to see the potential and promise of life even through the waves and that you learn to bust through the chaos and find what makes you happy on the other side.
Ride the pocket my friends, ride the pocket.