So three years ago today I broke my leg. I didn't just break it...I broke it reaaaal good. Rod in tibia - 4 screws in leg. A book that I love, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller, talks about living a good story and also centers around the parts that make up a good story. One central part he defines is the inciting incident and how that forever changes a person's story. Here is one of my favorite passages of the book, page 104:
"Robert McKee says humans naturally seek comfort and stability. Without an inciting incident that disrupts their comfort they won't enter into a story. They have to get fired from their job or be forced to sign up for a marathon. A ring has to be purchased. A home has to be sold. The character has to jump into the story, into the discomfort and the fear, otherwise the story will never happen."
When I read this part of the book I knew my inciting incident was my broken leg. Because really my leg shouldn't have broken...I was on a skateboard going REALLY slowly on a carpeted floor. It didn't make sense to anyone...but yet I had a lot of time to think about it...months on the couch. It is a big reason why I am in Austin - I had planned to head up to Dallas after camp to live with a girl and find a non-profit to work for...but as I lied on the couch for 3 months slowly the dream came back...what about political science? What about government? What about trying that field again - one that had been marked with every rejection possible when it came to applying for jobs/internships/etc.
My broken leg has also taught me how to run. I never was a runner before. During the months after I broke my leg if I didn't spend time every day strengthening my leg it would hurt worse the next day. I would have a more pronounced limp, etc. So I cycled with a resistance of 1 for a month after my surgery -- then up to 3 -- then 9....then the elliptical for a year....then --- I could RUN. Wind passing by my face running. And at first it was a glorified walk, a 12 minute mile, an 11 minute mile, etc. Which, when I look back on how I have had to pay attention to my leg everyday I see the bigger picture of how we address broken places in our lives.
I met a girl yesterday and mentioned in passing that tomorrow would be the 3 year mark of my broken leg...she had a similar experience and said, "I know what you mean...you never forget it."