This has been on my mind a lot lately since I saw a note from an amputee posted by the Amputee Coalition on Facebook. The Amputee Coalition does a pretty cool thing where they post people’s messages and allow the community of amputees to help the person out with problems they might be having, or just to give them encouragement along the way.
The particular message that struck such a chord with me was a note telling everyone that it was this person’s one year “ampuversary” as they called it, and even though they haven’t tried walking outside yet and spend most of their days in a wheelchair, at least they haven’t fallen in their first year as an amputee!
This person is my age. Everyone was congratulating them and saying how great it was that they hadn’t fallen in their first year, but I couldn’t possibly disagree more with this sentiment!!! Not falling is by no means a measure of success. It means you have taken so little risk that after one year you are still locked in a wheelchair when you could be back at work, out playing golf, seeing the world and taking advantage of the precious little time we have on this earth!
I have no idea how many times I fell in my first year. I fell a lot. The first day I decided to go out in public without my crutch I fell trying to walk on cobblestones. I probably fell at least 5 or 6 times playing golf. I fell hitting baseballs in a batting cage. I fell trying to walk on a squishy floor at the rock climbing gym. I fell really hard trying to hop from a dock onto a boat. The list goes on and on. But each time I fell I learned more about how my leg acts and got better on it. Now, every time I see a new prosthetist they immediately remark on how incredibly I’m walking on my leg being only 2.5 years out. I can tell you this: it isn’t easy, but it is worth it.
I think that’s a pretty good metaphor for life. If you’re doing it right you are going to fall and fall again, but each time you get up you are going to be better prepared and will ultimately be more successful in a time frame that others consider impossible.
No matter what you decide to do in life, push yourself. Don’t settle and don’t be afraid to fall.