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Jul 2011

The words were shouted across the dusty parking lot of the campground --

" Hey, Eugene, that you? How come you're limping?"

This wasn't the way the conversation was supposed to start! After all, here I was, in the middle of ticking off my successes. Highlights of revisiting this beautiful place of so many memories, adventures, and friendships: Smith Rock State Park.

My first camping trip since the accident two and half-months ago, the climbing fall that fractured my lumbar vertebrae and heel.

Ok, so it wasn't like I was fully healed and out here climbing. Nor could I join my wife on the half-marathon she was doing (to her best time yet), which was our original plan for the weekend. But I could play at being support team. And--having discarded crutches a few days earlier-- carefully negotiate my way down the steep trail to the river, for a long foot-soak under the guise of watching climbers on familiar routes. And also watch a deer and her fawn, quail, a heron--all of us sharing the quiet beauty of the canyon. And best of all, on the return to the rim, walk fast enough to actually feel like I was once again doing a true cardio...


" Hey, Eugene, that you? How come you're limping?"

Ouch. That wasn't the way this conversation was supposed to start!

"Um, you didn't hear?"

"No, I've been out of it with work."

"Well, my season got a little derailed. An accident. But that's not the point. The point is, I'm getting better. I'm doing great!"

Actually, I was delighted with my friends blunt question, his no b.s. expression of concern and love. And the reminder that, while events happen to us--often out of our control--we do get to make the choice of how we write them into our personal story.

Yes, one narrative is that my well-laid plans have been derailed.

But it's also true that I got signed up for a master's program in rehab. I am learning the value of visualization, early return to activity, and mind-body awareness to discern between sensation and pain. My surgeon is going to use the video I made at the two month stage as an example of fast recovery of range of motion.

And, having wished it for a few years, I finally got motivated to connect with a couple of west side yoga studios, and am hopefully going to be adding some classes in the next few months. I'll keep you in the loop.

Hoping that events are going smoothly in your life, but trusting that either way you are seeking to make meaning out of them.

Namaste - Eugene