Monday, March 18, 2013

Obstacles--Not Cliffs

I hurt my toe. The one next to the pinky, on my left foot. I wasn't kicking the car tire (this was the only kicking picture I could get without a soccer ball or a karate outfit). I was doing the dishes--around midnight--and stubbed my toe on the stool. The heavy, oak one.

It might be a hairline fracture. I know this because I've broken a number of toes (and other bones, sad stories, don't ask). I KNOW that feeling. I've fractured a toe while wearing ski boots. A little too much pressure and snip! The toes don't even make that snap sound anymore.

So my swimming and walking had to be put on hold. I wear tight sneakers up until bedtime. Previous numerous wasted visits to the doctor's office taught me that they can't cast it, wrap it, or pin it. All they do is maybe x-ray it, but usually it's just a 'tape it to the other toe and stay off as much as possible' routine. I'm pro enough now to do it myself (and better if I may be so bold).

It's an annoying obstacle. End of swimming? No. End of walking? Never. That's the difference between an obstacle and a cliff. There's no coming back for another chance once you're over that cliff, but the thing is to know the difference. (I'm sure if you're up on the mountain, you know the difference between an obstacle and a cliff.) In writing, a rejection is an obstacle. A scathing critique is an obstacle. Giving up is a cliff. Helen Keller was both blind and mute, yet she wrote. Steven Hawking is practically immobile, yet uses his eyes to work a special computer to write and formulate new theories. Beethoven went deaf young, but still went on to compose his, and the world's, best music. There was no 'cliff,' no 'end' for them.

Know the difference.