5 Things I Learned From Breaking My Leg

photo_2017-06-20_11-37-39-2Over the past few months my injury seems to consistently come up in conversation – people asking me how I’m recovering; me explaining why I’m not participating in my usual activities; or even just my family/friends checking to see how a doctors appointment went. I’ve had my chances to explain my injury to multiple people & the pain-inflicted faces people make while I tell them what happened never get old haha.

Multiple people have also asked me “was it worth it?” Assuming, that they’re talking about my joining an obstacle course race, & paying $100+ to ultimately end up injured & immobile for a few months. But in a very strange way, I think that it kind of was worth it. There are things that I believe I would have never been able to truly experience or learn if I hadn’t been injured. *God works in mysterious ways!*

But I think that majority of people assume that me breaking my leg, dislocating my ankle, & tearing ligaments is a life-changing experience in itself, but the real lessons came during the recovery.

1. The human body is amazing.

That’s it. There isn’t even need for elaboration haha! Our bodies are amazing & there is no way that anyone can say that they aren’t.

Not only are we as humans beautiful, smart, strong, and independent beings but we can freaking heal ourselves! Like.. Let’s take a moment to think about Wolverine from the X-Men. You know how he can heal himself? We can do that too! *at a much slower rate than Logan, but come on, it’s still crazy!

We break bones, & we grow new bone & fix the bone that was broken! We get cut, & grow new skin! Sure, there are scars, but scars are beautiful things. They show that we are resilient. They show that we have been broken, but we didn’t give up.

Our bodies are dope, dude. I am still in awe of how resilient we are. But don’t get hurt!! I was just saying haha!

2. Mindset. Mindset. Mindset.

Mindset is everything – if you’re injured or not. It’s so easy to slip into a dark place when you’re going through life-changing experiences. There are also so many chances to see the negative in the experience rather than the positive. But letting yourself slip into a dark place won’t help the situation. For me, sulking wouldn’t’ve helped my leg get any better. It would probably cause more problems than anything.

It’s important to try & see the good in even the worst of situations. There is always a silver lining, even when there are stormy skies. There is always a lesson to be learned in everything that we go through in life.

Even if things aren’t going the way that we wanted, as long as you have people that love you & you know that God has your back, everything in life will be ok. Trust that having a positive mindset can totally change everything. I also truly believe that leaving behind anything that doesn’t help you grow is essential in moving forward in life.

Things are just things, friends come & go, but you dictate your own life & the way you see the world around you. Don’t let anything hold you back from having a happy life, especially yourself.

“You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.” – Brian Tracy

3. Friends make time for you, even when you’re not around.

It’s kind of a sick joke in our generation that we say we hypothetically want to get sick or injured to see who visits or checks up on us – we say that those people who go out of their way for us are our true friends. I’m not saying that that hypothetical is completely correct, but it puts a lot of things into perspective. We have certain friends in our lives that we hold so closely to our hearts & we would do anything for them, but would they do the same for us?

I’m not saying that if your friends don’t spend every waking moment with you while you’re sick or injured they’re not your friends. But I am saying that, from my experience, the people that care about you will make time & effort for you, regardless of your circumstance in life.

Whether it be a phone call after volleyball practice while they’re on the way to get food, a FaceTime every Tuesday after worship service, an iMessage from the Philippines to make sure you eat well so you don’t gain weight, or even a text to ask you how you’re feeling that day – it’s the little things that people do that prove they care about you.

Your true friends will make time for you even when you’re not around. They’ll check up on you even if you haven’t checked up on them in weeks. Your true friends will be understanding of your circumstances no matter what they are, & they will be there when you need them because they know that when their time comes & they need you, you will be there.

Friendship is more than just grabbing brunch on the weekend, or going shopping. It’s more than texting, Snapstreaks, or going out. Friendship is knowing & being confident that the people that you’ve chosen to live your life with will be there for you when you need them.

They’ll give you advice when you need it, or just sit with you when there aren’t any words. Friends will make time for you whether you’re sick, injured, or live in another state.. True friends will be there for you always, not just when you’re sick or injured.

4. There are more important things in life.

People today are so engulfed in their personal success – everyone is hustling day & night to make a name for themselves, when at the end of the day it’s all for things that are justthings. There’s nothing wrong with striving for the best, wanting to give your life meaning, or even wanting more for yourself but there are more important things in life than owning a house, nice car, or the best electronics on the market.

We take for granted the little things in our lives that are so “normal,” you don’t even think about them being essential. Like walking, for example. You don’t realize how necessary it is in your life until you can’t do it.

Anecdote: One of my good friends visited me while I was in San Diego & because we were so excited to see each other I ordered a bunch of food & had it delivered. When it arrived she got up to get her food & I sat at the edge of my seat & realized that I couldn’t even get food for myself. I could crutch over to the counter & get food, but I wouldn’t be able to come back to the couch, with my food, to sit with her. Without walking, I was just stuck.

That is when I truly realized that without our health nothing else matters. We’re told by our parents all the time about how important it is to be healthy & how important it is to stay healthy, but until you’re in that situation yourself, you don’t really understand what it means.

Nothing is more important than our health & the health of those whom we love. The end. We can have everything in the world, but it all means nothing if we don’t have our health or strength to enjoy those things with the people that we love.

5. I have been strong, but I have never been as strong as my parents.

I’ve had to be strong over these past few months. I’ve had to constantly remind myself to be patient & not to lose hope. I cried, a lot. I felt the most helpless I’ve ever felt in my entire life. But my parents never failed to show me strength.

I never saw my parents cry, get frustrated, or even complain that I completely turned all of our worlds upside down. They would come home after a full day of work & take me out just so I wouldn’t have been at home all day without even thinking about it. They told me over & over again that they were happy I was home, even if it wasn’t under the best circumstances. But one of the most memorable things that happened for me that truly showed my parent’s strength & love for me was when I initially got injured:

Anecdote #2: I was in the emergency room waiting for my parents to arrive. I was in a lot of pain, really really worried that they were going to be mad at me for breaking my leg, etc. When my parents finally arrived I burst into tears & started crying like a baby happy to see my Mommy & Daddy. My mom right away came to the side of my bed & said “It’s ok, we’re here now. Stop crying.” No tears. No anger. Just support, love

I think I remember that moment so vividly because I can’t even imagine how hard it is to be a parent & to see your child in pain & not being able to automatically make it better. We are strong but our parents are a different kind of strong.

I’ve talked about this with a few of my friends that are parents & I am completely in awe of parents & the amount of unconditional love that they have to give. The understanding, support, & love that it takes to be a parent is something that I have yet to tap into. I hope that one day I am able to be as strong & loving as my parents.

I know I am strong. I know I’ve had to be strong. But I have never been strong like my parents.

***Earlier this week, I had my final doctors appointment with my orthopedic surgeon & he happily told me that I am officially fully healed. He told me he “hopes he never sees me again” & we both laughed, because I know for damn sure that I hope I never see him again.



2 thoughts on “5 Things I Learned From Breaking My Leg

  1. Jackie Mata says:

    Dad and I cried after reading your wonderful article. We felt it written from your heart. Thank you for appreciating what Dad and I did to take care of you when you were home recuperating from your accident. We love you and we are always here for you and Kuya.

  2. Caridad Wright says:

    I read this beautiful anecdote of your journey from physical trauma to full recovery. You delved into the intricacies of living and the keenest appreciation of the meaning of health, of how incapacitated you were for the mere fact that you could not even get up. The love and support that your mom and dad provided was intangible so did your Kuya and your friends. God loves you as you are His chosen child for inspite of a painful episode in your life, you were enlightened and your faith never wavered. Your Auntie Carrie loves you.

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