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For those of you who’ve seen me recently know, I’ve only been able to use 1 arm the past 3 weeks due to a mountain biking accident in Colorado. The story goes…I was in Colorado the week of July 4th with family and decided to go mountain biking one day in Breckenridge.  I ended up going over a jump I had no business going on and ended up injuring my shoulder causing a grade 3 AC separation.  While in the ER room at the hospital, I noticed (it was hard to miss) the hospital staff was frantic and there were a variety of codes they were announcing over the loudspeaker that I didn’t quite understand.  Nurses and doctors were running back and forth by my room in a big hurry.  I received a text message from my wife saying something was going on since firetrucks, ambulances and police cars started showing up.  I stopped a nurse running by and asked what was going on.  Apparently, the hospital’s Flight For Life helicopter took off and crashed in the parking lot with 3 people onboard.  As I turned to my right, there was a crowd of nurses and medical personnel attempting life saving surgery on these 3 injured people about 20 feet from my door.  The pilot, a veteran helicopter pilot, ended up dying from his injuries.  Suddenly, my shoulder injury didn’t seem to matter all that much to me.  I was just happy to be alive and with family.

Since that day until yesterday, I was in a sling which I wore non-stop (except for showers) and had to learn to use 1 hand more effectively.  I learned (and re-learned) some valuable lessons these past 3 weeks and especially from that day.

  1. Appreciate small things:  I realized that tying my shoes, opening a water bottle, driving, typing and doing most activities became very difficult if not impossible.  Hey, remember that time this morning when I tied my shoes.  Those were the days!!!
  2. Be grateful and live in the now:  You never know what’s going to happen today, tomorrow, next week, next year…  Live in the now.  There’s no time like the present (that’s why they call it a gift).
  3. Don’t sweat the small stuff:  Finding out someone just died 20 feet from you changes how you feel about things.  Suddenly, the small things I was worrying about didn’t matter anymore.  What I worried about wasn’t make or break.
  4. Emailing Less:  Since I only had 1 hand, typing became much harder.  I learned to use my Mac’s dictation feature, but it wasn’t perfect and fixing corrections was timely.  So I stopped replying to every email like I used to and didn’t worry if I wasn’t responding to emails even if they needed my attention.  It was liberating and still is.

 

I hope you find this helpful.

 

-Jared Toren

 

 

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Author: Jared Toren

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