A little over three months ago I could barely get around. Injured while on vacation in Greece made walking anywhere a painful chore. A grade 3 sprain meant covering a kilometre took four times as long as normal. I was unable to workout. I couldn’t get an x-ray or see a physiotherapist until I arrived in Brussels. Standing for too long caused fluid to pool in my legs. My limbs swelled to the size of an elephant’s.
The injury hurt, abusively, day and night. I wore away the enamel of my back teeth by grinding down in pain. Tears sprang to my eyes if I tried to get my legs to take me faster than they could carry me. But regardless, I walked to the supermarket and sat on the bike at the gym. I also forced myself to spar (it’s why I was in Brussels after all) since I’d agreed to take part in a fight three months down the line.
For three rounds I shuffled, sloppily, around the ring, hoping I wasn’t making my injury worse with every step.
But time passed, as it does. The throbbing subsided. The dull ache began to fade. After three weeks I could use the elliptical. It took six to walk somewhat normally—and less like a 70s pimp. Seven weeks after messing up my foot I was able to jump rope for a full round. Eight weeks on I was running a few kilometers each morning.
And by week ten I moved, cautiously, around the ring with footwork that made my Coach smile with pride.
I bang on incessantly about the marvels of the human body and mind but I can’t help it when, time and again, I experience little triumphs like this. I’m amazed at how we can withstand beating after beating. It’s why I bow out of deference to anyone who chooses to take hits and nurse their bruises, forging ahead to overcome, head held high, bouts of adversity.
Too often, the challenges, shitstorms, and absurdities we live through take up too much time. They are not worth the energy we give them. Many, in fact, are nothing more but whispered reminders that we are forces of nature. Wild and indomitable, it doesn’t matter where we place at the end of the day because the odyssey, and what we endure, counts for more than any single outcome.
Only in the eye of the hurricane can we begin to heal and understand how powerful we are.