What a Foot Injury Taught Me About Mortality

We are Not Superman

Who would not want to be bulletproof?        Superman ©DCcomics

Sorry but today I am going to get personal. Please keep reading. You may learn something. Nothing better than learning by someone else’s disgrace. I promise not to bore you.

I do not know how it happened. Was it playing tennis? Was it martial arts practice? Was it walking or something else?

The why, how or where does not matter. I hurt my right toe badly. I also hurt my left foot which does not look as bad but it much painful.

Training has become painful. So does walking. Simple stuff like a snake stance sends painful messages to my brain.

No one is immune to injury. Nobody is bulletproof like Superman. It does not matter how careful or careless we are, injuries will happen eventually. And yes, they hurt.

If feeling pain was intended by evolution to be a warning system for our bodies to tell us something is wrong, what does it mean when the pain is constant and does not go away?

It means we are mortal. It means we are getting old. Also means we are still alive.

Granted, no one wants to get old neither to feel old. And yet, life does not care about our feelings. There is a natural cycle we cannot escape.

Perhaps pain, illness, and injury is the way life prepare us for death. If we were permanently strong and healthy we would not ready to say goodbye to living.

But I am still young. And I wish I were Superman.

Training While Injured

stress fracture image from Podoactiva España

Life does not stop because you are injured. Life goes on with or without you.

To put things in perspective, as much as I worry about my job and think of myself as essential, truth is if I die today tomorrow someone would be assigned my workload as if I never existed. Sad fact.

As long as I can walk I will continue training. I cannot quit kung fu. Martial arts are a lifestyle for me, not a pastime.

Honestly, most days, the pain is mild. If it was stronger I would probably quit. I have seen people with worse injuries. Nonetheless, training is a challenge.

When you are in pain you, whenever you are recovering back from injury, especially after forty, you need to recognize your frailty. You need to make accommodations and make allowances to your body.

Perhaps you need to go slower. Perhaps you cannot go lower or higher. No jumping or kicking as high. No full contact sparring. Not until your doctor says it is okay.

Likewise, there are times in life where we can go all in with great effort and there are other times where we need to slow down, be wiser, and take things carefully.

We are mortal. We have an expiration date. Enjoy the ride while it last.

Because we are not Superman.

Adversity Builds Character

Image: Pixabay

They say adversity builds character and breeds success. That we cannot improve ourselves (and know ourselves) unless we experience great pain and suffering.

Just like exercise builds muscle and discipline builds resilience (that word again) the more we endure, the stronger we become as people.

But I feel so weak.

My feet will heal. The doctor says give it about four more months. I will probably gain a few more injuries. It is okay, it means I am alive and doing what I enjoy.

Whereas some people take great pains to always be careful and prepare and avoid danger, there are those of us who throw out caution and live in the moment. And for the moment.

Why was I born so stubborn? Why I press forward when the obstacles get bigger? Why can I just quit?

Because I care and because I rather work towards something than live with regrets.

One day I will be a viejito and I hope to be a happy viejito. The kind of old man who is at peace because he followed his dreams. He may have lost his battles but has no remorses.

In the constant struggle we call life we may experience setbacks. Keep moving forward!

Life may be a metaphorical battlefield but we do not need to fight all battles with fists. Some battles are won with diplomacy and cunning.

Like Superman does.

Reader, what do you do when life brings you down? How do you cope? What is your philosophy of living?

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April 2023