Gratitude for Good Health
This year was a tough one. I made the most income I ever have, exceeded my professional profit goal of 10% improvement over last year, saw some amazing places, met some tremendous people, was able to make an impact on other's, and yet, it was a tough year. Back in March, shortly after a fairly tough break up, I tore my AC joint playing hockey.
This wasn't a catastrophic, life threatening injury, but for a single man in his early (34 is early, right?!?) 30's, living hundreds if not thousands of miles from his closest friends and family, the inability to use my dominant arm, well, for lack of a better term - sucked.
I'm an athlete and have been since I was a kid - hockey has always been my outlet, a place to (legally) vent out stress and frustration. Hiking, trailrunning, camping, rock climbing, and lifting weights are all ways I find solace, peace, and relaxation. When I don't get to do those things, I suffer from anxiety, depression, and become a ball of stress. So when I was put on a shelf for months, I suffered. Depression set in, and it was honestly a terrible Spring/Summer. I wasn't myself.
Only in the past month have I gotten back to a place where I'd say I feel strong, and back to myself. Back on the ice, back in the gym, and back to running when I'm not lifting (or closing mortgage loans!).
With all that being said, those few months being down are going to end up as a small percentage of my life, but a period of time that made me beyond grateful for small things - the ability to throw a ball. The strength to climb a wall. Hell, even the ability to take a shower without pain. It was also a reminder that while a mobile life full of airplane rides and roadtrips is wonderful, having local roots and friends is also important. I may be the most independent person I know, but my lapse in health was a reminder that I, too, need help from time to time.
It was also a reminder that every day I'm blessed to do the things I love is a great day. A reminder to breathe deeply at every opportunity atop a mountain, to run that extra mile, to lift that extra rep, and to not take a day off (aside from planned rest days), because there may be times when life forces me to take off, and I sure as hell don't like that.
I know my injury was just a tiny bump - while devastating from an athletic perspective, I wasn't dying. I wasn't in chronic pain aside from the area effected. I could still function and get through life with my left hand (and the whole time, I reminded myself that while I was singing 'woe is me' for not being able to use my right arm, there are people out there living each day with NO ARMS). And even though I'm still not back to '100%', I am beyond grateful, each and every day, for my health, for my strength, and for the ability to do the things I love to do.