As I sit down to write this, I feel a sense of déjà vu… because I’ve already done this half a dozen times over the last few weeks. Every night I sit down and open my laptop to type out my thoughts on the things that inspired me or stirred up an emotion inside. Sometimes I managed to get a paragraph or two down before admitting defeat.
As the empty page mocks me, I slowly feel the urge to bolt creeping up on me. It’s still there now, but I am determined to do this. Just for the pleasure of knowing that I have landed a punch for once in this battle. As we said our goodbyes to a beloved boxer and human being this week it seems fitting, if incredibly small compared to all he has achieved in his remarkable life. Rest in peace, Muhammad Ali, and thank you for inspiring generations with your tenacity and strength.
Strength, inner and outer, is something I aspire to. I learned at the tender age of seven not to rely on others. Despite being petite and rather fragile-looking, I like being self-sufficient. I don’t wait for anyone to carry my heavy bags or boxes. Sure it’s nice when someone helps you out. However, I must admit, I feel a little glee when someone who doesn’t know me well sees me lift and carry things with ease. The surprise on their face just makes my day!
After hurting myself a couple months back, I am finally back to normal and the best part of it (other then no longer being in pain) is being able to do things for myself again. Even if it’s as simple as washing a big load of dishes, I can do it again! I have never been more excited by my ability to do chores! Actually doing them on the other hand is less thrilling.
Injury is actually a great teacher. Initially you’re just in pain. Then comes the temptation to fall into despair. I am what some like to call “injury prone”. I despise that label. It just gives people licence to roll their eyes when you get hurt. People who are (supposedly) injury prone are supposed to, over the years, either develop some sort of “spidey-sense” about what will hurt them or resign themselves to dealing with pitiful looks and exasperated sighs. Despite what people think, I don’t enjoy announcing to the world that I am, yet again, hurt.
As someone who takes part in rigorous physical activities on an almost daily basis, it’s hard to stop doing the things I love. The last few months were difficult but necessary. The quick fixes I had opted for over the years had added up and along with them, the feeling that I would never be completely okay. Last year I hit rock bottom. How many times can one person keep rising after each fall? Every time that I would get to a good place, something else would get injured. People told me that my body was telling me to stop. I had a last-straw moment.
Lucky for me, I had some amazing people around. All I needed was to find my strength and drive. I needed a kick to pull myself out of the negativity. I saw the glint in some people’s eyes, the little hint of superiority and a premature writing-off. I thank them today, all those who wanted me to stay down. You reminded me that the most important thing I can do, no matter the situation, is to believe in myself. It sounds cheesy, but it’s true. One must strive to maintain a positive outlook and an unshakable sense of self-worth and self-respect. That is what gets you through the hard times – inner strength and hard work.
I will build myself back up at my own pace because it is my body, the only one I have. I will get back to doing the things I love, because I want to. I will continue to stumble and fall because I haven’t been bitten by a radioactive spider (yet). But most of all, I will continue to make lemonade, and whatever other delicious concoction I can based on what life hands me. Punch, anyone?