By Kevin Sheehan, Special Columnist
I had the pleasure of a “first” in my life recently, in the fact that I just turned 29 last week, and I now have my first broken bone. How did I get it? Well, they opened a new Ultimate Warrior Ninja Park in St. Cloud, and as I did the rope climb (seen beside me in the picture), I realized that I am not as young as I used to be.
I climbed to the top, and with the bell being closest to my dominant hand, I swatted the bell (let the record show that I did ring the bell, my friends Kyle, Richard and Mike can testify) with my right arm. Swinging my arm back to the rope, I lost grip with my left hand, and returned to earth a lot quicker than my original ascension.
I heard a slight cracking noise as I hit the ground, and as the pain came over me, I immediately went to my happy place that I go to when getting tattoos, and was able to manage the pain for a little bit. After not being able to move it, I decide that a hospital visit is more than likely necessary. With my friend Richard driving me to the hospital, he asked (in a joking way) “Did you learn anything from this?” My immediate response was “If I broke something, then yes. If I didn’t, then no.”
But to be fair, I learned something either way. I broke a bone, and it hurts. But the fact is, you can’t live your life in fear of something happening that will keep you from living. Fear can set in and cause crippling anxiety.
When I was involved in a hit and run three years ago which totaled my car, that evening I went home from the ER and immediately got in my other vehicle and started driving around. It is important that we do not let things that happen to us dictate whether we engage in activities we enjoy or to prevent us from partaking in experiences we want to. It is important to also gain confidence after it is lost as well.
However, we can’t live our life making excuses. I don’t want to go surfing, I could get stung by a jellyfish or bitten by a shark. I don’t want to ride a motorcycle, I might get hit. I don’t want to go skydiving, the parachute might not open. I don’t want to go shopping, someone might steal my credit card info. I don’t want to present my ideas to my boss, he might think they are stupid. I don’t want to let others read what I write, because they might not like it.
We can reason ourselves in and out of everything. But if we want something, we need to be able to take the necessary risks to obtain it. For instance, I wanted to ring that bell. Now, I did ring that bell. But if I hadn’t? Once my ankle healed up, I would go and try again.
While it might seem stupid or trivial (and maybe it is), goals are worth achieving, even if it is just ringing a bell. Don’t just give up on something simply because you are wounded in the process. There are things that, yes, you should not let destroy you, and part of wisdom is knowing whether a goal is realistic or fantasy. But in reality, what kind of person quits at the first sign of resistance?
We can let fear immobilize us, or we can grab life by the bells and let it know that we are not dead, only wounded, and we’re not done yet. Seize the day, before you let it slip away to regrets in old age.
“Vivus: An Exposition Of A Volatile Mind” by Kevin Sheehan is available in digital and in print on Amazon.com!