The Hazards of Living

Last week, for the first time in my 32 years of life, I broke a bone in my body.

I was inside reading on a nice spring day (as usual), and the kids asked me to go play soccer with them outside. At first I told them I was too busy, but after much begging I finally relented. Besides isn’t a good father supposed to play soccer with his kids on a warm, spring day?

So I hopped outside with them. For some odd reason, I decided to play barefoot. Perhaps it was the nice weather or perhaps I couldn’t quickly find my shoes. Whatever the reason, it would prove my downfall…

Halfway into the game, I went to kick the ball as it was rolling next to the fence. And while I kicked the ball, my little toe got hooked on the fence and I heard a loud CRACK.

It was immediately obvious that I’d broken my pinky toe. So I went inside and did what any self-respecting geek would do. I google’d “broken pinky toe” only to find that there was no real point in going to the doctor if it wasn’t severely broken. And the standard fix is to tape your pinky toe to the next toe (ie – the buddy toe) and to ice it.

Now, at first, I was thoroughly disappointed with the reality of having a broken toe. That meant no running or playing tennis just when the weather was beginning to get nice!

But as I thought through it some more, I wondered if the fact that I had never broken a bone meant that I wasn’t really living? Maybe I wasn’t pushing myself as much or as hard as I could? Maybe I was taking things a little too easy?

In one of the Teddy Roosevelt books I read, it talked about how he was always breaking bones and giving himself scratches and concussions from falling off horses and hunting bears. Now, there’s a man that really lived and has the scars to prove it!

I could have just said no to the kids on that warm spring day and stayed inside to read my book, and maybe I could’ve made it through life without ever breaking a bone. But maybe, just maybe, the safest way isn’t always the best way?

A ship in harbor is safe — but that is not what ships are built for. John A Shedd

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