We all like to think our experiences teach us something and that we learn from them, whether good or bad. This week, while cycling to work, I took a corner on a wet footpath. My bike went one way and I went the other, resulting in a grazed palm, a sprained (and hopefully not broken) wrist, and three fractures in my patella. It was not a good morning.
I made my slow and painful way to work, for some reason thinking I wasn’t actually in need of an ambulance or some other assistance, before a colleague did the mercy dash and took me to hospital. I was given the bad news about my knee, told to keep it straight and in a brace for three-to-six weeks and I’d be fine.
Now that I’ve been home for little more than a day with this bloody brace on, where every movement now requires a lot of thought and consideration, I wonder if the lesson I’m meant to learn from this has something to do with taking things slow.
The need for speed
Doctors and friends have asked how fast I was going on my bike. To be honest, not fast at all, just fast enough to cause this injury (though I’d suggest that my knee hitting the pavement is the cause more than speed). However, doing things at speed tends to be my modus operandi.
When we were transferring at LAX, I asked directions of a woman at the information stand. She told me one piece of information and then I started to walk off, thinking she was done. ‘Hold up, you’re off and running,’ she said, stopping me in my tracks before giving me the rest. It’s now become a catchphrase between my husband and I. Still, it’s apt.
Now that I’m relatively immobile, getting off the couch to go to the bathroom, or repositioning my leg to a somewhat temporarily more comfortable position, I am forced to take my time.
And it’s as frustrating as all hell.
How on earth am I meant to get anything done at such a slow speed? And, what has me even more worried is, how am I supposed to manage three-to-six weeks of this? What muscle I’ve been growing is going to shred pretty fast – or convert to fat – so there’s even more time wasted on slowing down.
But there’s no point in railing against it. Healing will happen in whatever time it needs to happen, life will go on at a different pace, and perhaps there will be some added bonus out of this such as a new perspective (as if being able to walk again wouldn’t be bonus enough) and a calmer approach to life. Maybe that’s a lesson worth learning.
Then again, perhaps the lesson is to not go cycling on wet roads.