In a freak accident while I am skate scooting with my boy, I fell and landed awkwardly hard on my right hand. Immediately after the fall, I don’t really feel too much pain. Perhaps it’s just a normal kind of fall. My boy turned back and laughed at me for being so clumsy. In his laughter, he shouted: “Daddy! You can get up!”. “You can do it, one….”
I got up and went home for dinner. After shower, the pain intensity started to build up till it becomes excruciating. This is when I know the consequences of the fall is not a minor one. Immediately the next day, I went for treatment. The result, a fracture in the elbow.
The first few thoughts that came to my mind upon hearing this is that I am going miss all my training and runs. In addition, how am I going to do my work? The after thoughts of the fall are quite crippling. That evening, I began to think and behave like I am a handicap person. I ask for help for all the things I needed. I fell into what I called a “handicap mindset”.
When I woke up the next day, I recalled what my boy said. “Daddy! You can get up!”. I started to realise the true meaning of this sentence. I have allowed myself to fall and not get up. Imprisoning myself in this handicap mindset. That day, I started to observe and become aware of how real handicap people can perform normal daily activities with perfect ease. Yet, I have only injured an elbow, I feel that I cannot do them.
I tell myself, I must get up, and get going. Then, I started to adapt. Trying to do things all by myself and to be independent. Initially, I am clumsy and slow. But I discover after a few practices, I can bath, eat, write… all by myself. Yes, I may be physically injured, but I am not mentally handicapped. This makes me realise in life, people can be so physically strong, yet their mind can be so handicapped. Yet, on the other hand, some physically handicapped people can be so tough mentally. Just take Nick Vujicic as an example.
So, who are the real handicapped here? I don’t have an answer that may satisfy everyone. To me, the real handicaps are those who are “injured” in the mind and cannot get up after that. People who experience failures, disappointments in life and cannot get up and move on. They remained handicap in the prisons of failures, disappointments, unforgiveness, jealousy, ego… etc
On hindsight, after the injury, this experience has taught me a few life lessons. One, it has made me mentally stronger. Part of this strength comes from having more time to rest. A person can train harder or go further because he has rested (recovery) well.
Second, “Handicap” mindset can happen to anyone. Some of us may not even aware that right now we are in this mindset. I keep reminding myself that there many people that are worse off today, yet they can do much more than me now. I cannot allow this handicap mindset to creep up unto me.
Third, with this “down time”, it gives me more time to strategize and to focus what is important to me. I think I have done much more work, than compared to if I am not injured. With only one “operational” arm, I must value time more and be more efficient in using my time.
Lastly, all things happen for a reason; and I choose to believe it’s for a good reason. There is no point complaining or holding any grudges against life or any other person. Unexpected things may happen, but I feel I can have a choice on how I want to response to them. For things that I can control, I can quickly make positive changes. Well, for things that I cannot control, I just got to let go and trust that it will all turn out well.