With the date for my spinal surgery quickly approaching, flashbacks and memories of my accident have begun to disrupt my thoughts, as well as, my sleep.
The mental confusion, as landing that jump went horribly wrong. The physical pain upon crashing my body to the ground. The snapping of my bones so obvious that it was audible. The emotional guilt, from all the wrong decisions I made in the aftermath while under the influence of such extreme pain. The self-inflicted mental beating that has followed throughout this past year as I’ve tried my best to heal and recover, without complete success.
Who knew those final few seconds of an, otherwise, perfect skydive would change my body and my life so dramatically?
This is the part that no one really talks about.
We dance around the possibility, and I think that’s what gives the sport such an exhilarating thrill – the feeling that this moment could be your very last. No one really talks about the fact that, perhaps, it’s not?
I have learned the hard way – it’s not always so black or white, nor this or that. Sometimes you just get hurt. Sometimes the pain and damage from your injuries lasts a long time. Sometimes it lasts forever. If you knew all of this and we spoke more candidly about it, would it change your mind? If you’re anything like me, probably not. But if you are, indeed, anything like me, you also wouldn’t settle for a life of chronic pain and limited mobility – thus, my acceptance of the need for surgery.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. This is not a decision that was made easily or taken lightly. At this point though, I refuse to imagine the possibility of all that could go wrong. Instead, I choose to think positively as I take this leap of faith.
I am going to run again.
Yesterday, I broke out my old Eagle Up Ultramarathon race shirt. I was struggling to walk just 4 miles – hips aching, back spasms and muscle cramps hindering my movement. Wearing this shirt, however, brought back a lot of memories; memories of moments, deep in the miles of a race, where I have had to overcome a lot of barriers – physical, mental and emotional. There were moments when I hurt and I wanted nothing more than to simply quit – but I found the strength to keep pushing through. That’s what runners do.
Sometimes it helps to remember that I am capable of doing such hard things – and that, one day, I will be able to do them once again.