Life lessons from a broken leg
How fracturing a bone changed my life for the better.
It was raining heavily. I was running late to a very important meeting. What was supposed to be a quick dash across the road turned horribly wrong.
As soon as I slipped I knew I was in trouble. I heard a loud crack and I was on the ground, in the rain, pain searing up my left leg.
It is now four months, two surgeries and a whole lot of tears later. Even though I still rely (albeit less heavily) on crutches to get around, I’ve gained a whole new perspective on life.
Here are four lessons I learnt from breaking my leg:
1. It’s better to be safe than sorry
I broke my leg running in the rain to a meeting. Needless to say, I didn’t end up going to that meeting at all. I will always regret not sparing a few extra minutes to take the longer, much safer, route.
We oftentimes put our education, work and commitments ahead of our own health and safety. I think it’s time we remind ourselves that our wellbeing is the most important thing.
Pay attention to your physical and mental health. Without it, you will never be able to live the life you want and achieve the goals you have.
2. Patience is the key
I had to learn how take a step back, breathe and think positively. Feeling sorry for myself was not going to heal me any faster.
In today’s rapid-paced society, we might be prone to getting impatient and frustrated with slow progress. We see the achievements of everyone around us and can’t help but feel stagnant.
Remember that it’s okay to grow slowly. Progress, at any pace, is still progress.
3. Accepting dependence is okay
I’ve always had a hard time reaching out to people for help, broken leg or not. But being on crutches now, I had to accept the idea that I couldn’t do certain things on my own.
Sometimes it’s hard to ask for help, especially in a highly independent and competitive society like ours.
Requesting support can make us feel vulnerable. It can (somewhat erroneously) make us feel inadequate and weak. But the truth is, everyone will struggle at some point.
We have to give ourselves permission to lean on others. It’s not only okay, but essential, as humans, for us to ask for help when in need.
4. Be kind
Not being able to take care of myself made me realise how a little kindness can go a long way.
We’re all busy people, preoccupied with our own commitments, desires and responsibilities. We also tend to forget that our physical capabilities allow us to do all the basic things – that we often take for granted – with ease. Hence, we don’t usually go out of our way to help other people.
Remember to be kind to one another because you never know what someone is going through – even if they’re not in a cast or on crutches.