Engaging with life means we get hurt

It was one of those mornings. Off the back of a run, we were in the ocean before dawn, wanting to witness the sun cresting the horizon. A westerly wind blowing softly, the ocean clean, the waves what Tony calls ‘Christine waves.’ Not too big.

I had not been in the water for a week because I was recovering from a hip injury. It was still a little sore so I wanted to be conservative. 

I managed one of my best popups on the board ever. A cause for celebration.

And had already decided that I would call it a day and return to the beach, catching one last wave.

The Universe had other plans. I got tossed about, a fairly regular occurrence for me, and felt a very sharp pain in my lower left ankle, calf area. I knew it was pretty bad. I felt my leg and it felt like my skin was curled back. But little blood. Maybe just a bad bruise? I stayed put, breathing, waiting for the pain to subside. Which it did.

And went to the beach. 

When it comes to soft tissue injuries I am not brave at all. My partner Tony is. He didn’t even know until he saw my leg. Calm and steady as a rock, the kind of person you want around when an accident happens, he took charge.

6 stitches, my first ever stitches in my life, and all plans tossed to the wind. Our nine day long surf trip scheduled to commence in 8 days time thrown a curve ball.

This is life, is it not? 

Not the perfectly manicured lawn, and the precision of laid out plans. Rather the mishaps, side steps, falling down, being broken, literally and figuratively.

To know all will be well. I will heal. I will get back in the water. I will learn something from this…perhaps the hardest lesson of all, that bodies my age do not bounce back quite as quickly as a ten year old. That a little caution is not fear but common sense. 

There was no part of me that I denied listening to in the decision to be in the water. No small voice of intuition saying leave. 

Nothing would have changed the outcome except being a better surfer, and even then, that is not a protection against this type of thing.

There is no super protection from life. No place we can be completely safe and unharmed, if we choose to live life.

I watch mothers prevent their young children from exploring and adventuring, the fear of hurt overtaking everything.

I used to live in trees as a child. Climb mountains. The thirst for adventure far greater than fear.

I do not want to live wrapped in cotton wool. 

Not now, not in ten or twenty or thirty years.

Engaging with life means we get hurt. I choose engagement.

Photo taken April 15th 2021

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