Hitting a Speedbump

“The speed bumps in your life
are designed to slow you down,
not stop you completely!”

When was the last time you hit a speed bump, and do you remember how you felt as you approached it?  I hit two last week.  The first was near the bank where I often use the ATM. The speed bump is placed there to slow traffic that moves between the lane for the ATM and the lane for drive-in banking.  I understand its purpose, but I still detest it.  Why?  Because on those days when I don’t have any banking business, it slows me down.  If I hit it too fast, the car rocks and any coffee in my cup is all over the place.  It’s just a pain, but not as big as the second one I hit on Wednesday.

For the past two weeks I have been having some problems with my left foot.  I found it increasingly difficult to lift the front part on my foot, and recently started to experience some nighttime foot spasms and cramping.  A visit to the Podiatrist on Wednesday was my second speed bump.  He listened to my story, took an x-ray, and next thing I know I’m in an immobilizing boot.  An MRI was ordered for Thursday morning, and by early afternoon I was advised that I had ruptured a tendon and surgery would be scheduled for next week.  Recovery can be arduous and will include physical therapy and rehabilitation. The well-wishes have already started, but the inspiration for this week’s piece came from my trainer, Allie, who said, “You got this Rick, just a speed bump!”

She’s right!  This is a temporary inconvenience.  Granted, it is a busy time of the year, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s nothing.  I need to see it for what it is, a bump in the road, not a mountain that must be scaled.  Our natural reaction is to consider anything that slows our pace, seems like an obstacle, or causes discomfort, to be viewed as a negative.  Ironically it could also be something good.

Speed bumps and blessings often appear in our lives as something unexpected, but they happen anyway.   Life is full of these events, and we all encounter them sooner or later in one form or another.  Maybe the answer is to be found in how we perceive the “bump in the road”.  Perhaps this speed bump we are encountering is a blessing in disguise.  Maybe there is something to be learned while slowing down.

The surgeon, who wrote a script for crutches and a scooter, advised me to plan being “off my feet ” for awhile, and that full recovery will take 8-12 weeks (just in time for next year’s golf season).  When you think about it, perhaps I’ve been gifted with the most precious commodity we have; time!.  My challenge will now be to use this time in a manner that is both productive and fulfilling.   

I know myself well enough to recognize that there will be frustration.  I’m not one to sit at home unoccupied or idle the day away binge watching TV.  I like to work outside and have the freedom to come and go as I please.  But this unplanned slow down may have some other benefits that otherwise might not have been realized; the second book yet to be started, completing another Masterclass or simply sending handwritten notes to the Wolfpups.

To say the next few weeks will be a challenge is an understatement, but this speed bump is really an opportunity to slow down, become a bit more mindful, and consider what is really important in my life.  Believe it or not, I’m looking forward to the journey, and as I traverse it, I’ll let you know what I’ve learned.  Hey Allie, I got this!

Embrace the Challenge.