Staying connectedAfter I fell off a mountain, I was overwhelmed by well wishes for a speedy recovery coming from around the globe. Once again, I was reminded that the true meaning in life comes from our connection with others.

You think I have a positive, kick-butt attitude, but this latest injury sent me into a tailspin. I cried for 48 hours from the pain, frustration and anger at myself for my stupidity in attempting to sail downhill on two skinny sticks aka skis. Yet that drive to seize the day and refuse to give into limitations put me up on that mountain in the first place.

I know all about the repercussions from accidents. This is not my first rodeo; a clavicle is not my first shattered bone. In college, I played basketball with a broken finger and in young adulthood learned to walk again after car accident busted my back and sternum.

After my latest mishap, I wallowed in my little-woe-is-me-self-pity mode for a few days feeling isolated and disconnected from others as I struggled to force my body to stay still. Out of respect for my loyal followers, I thought I would let readers know I was out of commission for a while never expecting such an outpouring of sympathy as a result.

Family members phoned regularly and uplifting words from childhood buddies, high school classmates, college friends, colleagues, teammates, and athletes I’ve coached poured in on Messenger, WhatsApp, Facebook and email.

Staying connectedIncapacitated again, my husband became my right hand man so to speak. Like a kindergartner I asked for help tying my shoes, zipping my coat, cutting my meat. Humbled by my limitations, I realized our interdependence can never be underestimated. How powerful those simple acts of kindness can be especially when we are down and out.

Today I wanted to share my good news. As my collar-bone realigns and the pain recedes, my doc says I won’t need surgery IF I can sit still and behave for a few more weeks. No easy feat for ol’ daredevil of East 19th street.

I wish I could say after this latest exploit that I learned my lesson. That I have become a self-actualized, blissed-out human being happy just sucking air everyday. Instead I remain restless, anxious to get back in the game, and live life to the fullest even with all the risks.

My take away message from this misadventure – go on keep reaching for the stars – but never take for granted the value of our human connections and the healing power of words.


Comments

  1. Debbie

    Pat, what GOOD news!! So glad to hear you’re mending nicely. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to be forced into accepting help when you’re used to being independent. Still, that’s just part of life. Sometimes we give, sometimes we take. You know, I suspect it’s the periods of having to take that teach us the most about how to give. Keep mending, my friend!

    1. Pat McKinzie

      Well said Debbie. How profound and oh so true what you say “it’s the periods of having to take that teach us the most about how to give.” You are a wise woman and I feel so grateful we have connected across the miles.

  2. Kathy

    So glad you are mending and hope you continue to feel better every day. I have been thinking of you often, especially as notes from others here in Minnesota who have experienced similar mishaps – broken ankle, broken, wrist, black eyes, and other aches and pains from falls this winter – come in. After my first knee surgery my philosophy has always been you should do the things you like to do even if there is risk as you could also have a mishap in the parking lot of the local grocery. Keep your spirits up!

    1. Pat McKinzie

      Thanks for the reminder Kathy. When I was so mad at myself for falling while skiing, Karen said pretty much the same thing. She had friends break legs walking out to the car. Gotta love Minnesota. You think they would invent boots with spikes there for those icy days when just walking out the door is dangerous. ha

  3. Rachael Jefferson-Buchanan

    Glad you are still smiling and recovering at a steady rate. It’s tough to get such an injury for an ex-athlete, but your previous form will help your bones to knit and your body to return to its former state. At least you have a good excuse now to sit still a little more… and also pass the nastier domestic chores onto dear Gerald 😃 xx

    1. Pat McKinzie

      I would like do the sun salutation and loosen up my limbs with a little yoga, but that is out of the question right now. However, I can walk and talk and tell stories. And you know me, Rach, I passed on those nasty domestic chores to Gerald long ago. ha haxx

  4. Kathleen Pooler

    That’s the spirit, Pat! And terrific news about not having surgery. Now, the biggest challenge lies ahead….behaving yourself!! I can relate to the frustration of depending on others for the simplest tasks ( broken wrist). , Very humbling.. Keep up your fighting spirit and sense of humor. This too shall pass and before you know it you’ll be off to your next adventure😊 Happy healing, my friend.

    1. Pat McKinzie

      I know you too have endured many physical set backs without ever losing your fighting spirit, so I will continue to look to you for inspiration my dear friend.

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