Sometimes my teaching comes more like my learning. The hard way. So we will struggle through the hard teaching today, and see where it leads you.
First off, the most important thing is that we learn from our mistakes. I might seem like I am slow to learn, but it comes down to what you want me to learn. See, I have suffered a number of injuries in the last few years. Leg, shoulder, calf, shoulder… eye. And it has invariably inspired a decent number of my patients to say, “you should stop doing that stuff”, where stuff might mean adventure racing, or CrossFit, or perhaps wrestling with my girls.
But this “stuff” is what makes me a really useful chiropractor.
What I mean is, I have done it all. Your injuries are mine. I have lived through a messed up back, for years. That is why I am a chiropractor, because it changed my life after thinking I would need surgery to fix me. Most of my injuries stem from the fact that I played hockey, and this is where I am going to help you struggle through this mindbender to see why my calf tear might mean something to you.
I separated my shoulders, repeatedly (they just weren’t made for someone who liked to check hard, and that’s what I liked to do); I broke a tooth, I messed up my ankle (the thing still randomly swells for no reason from time to time), my leg, my jaw, my nose, my knee, and I messed up my back. All of this through my collegiate career. But as many of you know, this isn’t the kicker injury. We are coming up on 7 years from the day I lost my eyesight. One explosion of pain and that was it, a hockey puck had hit my eye at full speed, resulting in 23 stitches just to keep the eye together, but blindness from that moment forward (though I still have that “against all odds” prayer and belief for healing).
So what did I get from hockey? A bunch of brokenness. But a lifetime of successes, successes that will keep me glued to the pursuit of success. And this is what really matters. Success in the belief that every single day, this body is a gift, a gift from God that can do AMAcrazyZING things. Why? Because I ask of it. Sure, I got this cool ring too.
This is a National Championship Ring, not an NCAA Div I ring… that would be real cool, but still, fun to obtain.
So, today, I am a pretty big fan of John Eldridge books. I have read Wild at Heart several times just to remind myself of how crazy I strive to be (http://ransomedheart.com/). I want to be the most passionate person you ever meet… about life. Not about chiropractic, not just about God, but about everything that is given in abundance.
So when I tore my calf, it was just me choosing to be bullheaded and youthful in my approach to life. ”Better to the orthopedists instead of the cardiologists” is what my good friend Bruce Sofge says. Yeah, I was able to secure a no cost injury rehab on this one, with a free MRI to boot, but I won’t always escape so unscathed in the future I am sure; but I definitely don’t plan on giving any money to a cardiologist anytime soon.
A Facebook message came in tonight “how many “tears” (pronounced ‘tares’ not ‘teers’ in this instance) before you realize you are old? Just sayin’ “. She is having fun with me, but the reality is that most people start to die down, and give up when injuries come. And that is exactly what I say NOT to do. I can do amazing things with the other 80% of my body that is working great right now, and I can strive for new accomplishments for the other 20%. Live! Live! Live!
So real quick, in the wrap-up… my eye. If you have never heard me tell the story of the incident, be sure that you get that chance at some point. It is a good story. But I have realized that I have more injuries now, because of my lack of site, than I ever would have. The calf… no. But my last shoulder separation, yes. The knife stabbed through my thumb last summer… yes. I have what I call proximity injuries. When you have no idea the proximity of certain things, and movement is happening at high speed, that is what you are left with. Proximity injuries.
Do you really think it would be healthier for me… my body and my mind, if I chose to give up on living because of that? Perhaps the couch would be a better place to hang out?
I want you to find that same passion for living! I know many of you have, and that is why I love being surrounded by you. And for those who have not, well, my hope for you is why I love being surrounded by you!
Be well, be blessed. – Dr. E
PS – if i get a chance to hitchhike on an Orca’s back at Seaworld, you can be sure that I will.