What I Learned from the ‘Incident’


Jun 26, 2017

I’ve been a bit out of sorts lately. Broken actually. Literally. It’s been a little over two months now since I took a hard fall from 12-feet up.  Damn ladder, damn concrete…Really though, stupid me. I’ll forever have the memory of that late Easter Sunday eve. The crash to the floor, the disbelief when I looked at my left arm and the wonder of what the hell had happened? I’ll be reminded of “the incident” forever with my lessened wrist motion due to the plate on my radius and the new look of my index finger knuckle, thanks to a valiant effort to pin the multiple pieces back together into something that resembles its former self. Yeah, stupid should hurt. It did and it threw me off my game for a while.

It was a strange process re-learning how to do the simplest of things.  Like making your fingers work again after weeks of immobilization. But it also made me think of how the process applies to so many facets of what we do on a daily basis. The “stupid” decisions we could make regarding our personal lives, profession, faith, health or financial well-being could have long term consequences. I came up with the phrase I’ll use often as it’s relative to any category you choose to place it in: “The bigger the stupid, the greater the consequence.”

The fall was a wake-up call. Pay attention. Think things through. Fast forward a bit if you can. Look ahead. It was severe enough to make me realize that just inches, one way or the other, and I may be writing this from a wheelchair…or not at all. I’m lucky. And I have a reminder every day when I look at my left hand of how lucky I am. I thank God for that.  I’m encouraged by it. Obviously, there’s more I’m still around to accomplish!  (Lucky you will get to continue to see where I go with it, right?)

There’s a ladder we all climb every day. How high up we go, how many steps on the rungs we choose to take, how big a stretch we make if we’re at the top is all up to us. Having experienced the downside of using the tool the wrong way, it’s my goal now, more than ever, to be certain what I do helps get that ladder set correctly for others and better yet, see it climbed with confidence.

“The bigger the stupid, the greater the consequence.” Will I step on a ladder again? Well, yes. But I’ll keep that phrase in mind every step of the way!