Mindfulness, Personal

Would You Jump?

“If all your friends jumped from a bridge, would you?”

I used to think this was a dumb question. If all my friends jumped from a bridge, I most definitely would not. However, I apparently thought it was intelligent to jump from a window onto gym mats. As much as I never thought I’d be the dumb kid on the bridge, I proved myself wrong five years ago tomorrow.

When they say that one moment can change your entire life, they really aren’t lying. At that moment that I jumped from that window, I thought I was doing something fun – all the other kids were doing it, nothing was going to happen to me, right?

Wrong.

Crushed it

Literally. I literally crushed my vertebrae doing something stupid, and it changed my life in so many ways I can’t even begin to explain it. Five years ago this week I spent the weekend in the hospital while the doctors discussed what to do. I had managed to break my vertebrae in all three sections. They told me at the time that most people with a compression fracture just break one, not all three. They also proceeded to tell me that if I had have landed just slightly forward or slightly backward, I very well might be paralyzed today.

“If all your friends jumped from a bridge, would you?”

This weekend was one million times worse for my Mom than it was for me. At the time I was on a morphine drip and receiving all the presents, visits and love from people that I would have never imagined. I had people asked about my recovery time, people cleaning my cats’ litter for me and delivering edible arrangements to bring a smile to my face in the hospital. It didn’t feel all that bad at the time.

Fast forward

While the years in-between were something else (full of many experiences that spiraled off of this), I look at where I am today. Five years later I keep my back in shape with yoga and not gaining weight. I look at that experience and consider myself incredibly lucky that I didn’t paralyze myself. It was one of the toughest summers of my life, and if it wasn’t for that broken back? I wouldn’t be who I am today – at all.

It’s not something I recommend. I do not recommend that you jump from that bridge (or the window) with your friends. However, I do recommend seeing the silver lining in experiences. Think of the people you wouldn’t have met or the situations that would have never occurred. Think of the people that helped you out in your time of need and the lessons that you learned – the hard way.

Five years later, I wouldn’t jump from the window again, but I’m happy to be where I am today. Here’s to many more years of yoga and to treating my body well – we only get one body in our lifetime!

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