Inspiration + Important Takeaways (Deep Thoughts, by Dara)

Let me start this post with my conclusion because the preamble is a little long and I don’t want you to miss out.

As you may know, I started a new business in the last two years. But you may not know that it was because my life changed unexpectedly.

Here are some of my takeaways after two years of injury (aka the interruption of my regularly scheduled programming):

– Pivot if you have to. (Though, perhaps not on the bad leg.)

Try something new. Make new friends. Start a new venture or hobby. They might not just end up being “filler”!

– Do what you can with what you’ve got.

I really wanted to get back to being the old me, but I didn’t waste time wallowing, or waiting for that old me (or the healed me) to show up. I did other things that were worthwhile.

– It could be worse, or could have been worse.

Thankfully, I only sustained injuries I could recover from. Don’t get lost in self-pity, because it’s not constructive.

– Have more empathy. In general.

I am more supportive to an injured friend or a sick relative because I’ve been through it myself. Empathy is a good life skill.

Where did all these takeaways come from?

Two years ago I was in the middle of a grueling squash match… and my knee blew out. 

I was living in Whistler and looking forward to a summer of hiking and mountain biking. 

Instead, I spent a couple of months in pain, then discomfort, slowly rehabbing my knee, planning on moving back to Vancouver, and getting on the squash court for the fall season.

I moved back to the city! Vancouver, here I come! And my first day back, I badly sprained my ankle. On the other leg.

What. The. F. 

Couldn’t hop around, because knee. Couldn’t unpack my apartment, because standing. 

All the excitement from my move, new city, new home, deflated. 

And then…

Two weeks later, I had a scooter accident.

What could have been seriously serious was only a broken arm. 

But a broken right arm. 

That required a plate and screws and surgery. 

This was not the best time for Dara. 

(But yes, I still typed pretty fast with only my left hand.) 

You’d think that would be it for my streak of bad luck… But while my arm was healing, I found out that the knee injury was a torn ACL that would require surgery. 

I went from being active, fit, healthy, and surgery-free, to having two surgeries in 6 months, and more than a year and a half off that beloved squash court. 

Why am I telling you this? 

Because now I’m on the other side of it (more than two years later).

And I stepped back on the squash court yesterday!

I had played since the knee injury. I had played with the metal plate in my right arm.

But I hadn’t yet rejoined my squash club. I hadn’t yet felt fully healed, and so I hadn’t been ready to COMMIT to being my old self again.

I hadn’t wanted to commit to paying the club’s monthly fees. Or to commit to playing regularly. Or to commit to rekindling the wonderful friendships I’d formed in 12 years as an avid squash player.

But this week I did. I joined. I reached out. I booked matches. I signed up for TWO tournaments.

And it was like a weight lifted off my shoulders as I got back to my happy place. I had no idea I had strayed so far from it until I came back to it.

BUT in that hiatus – the one where I was a different person who wasn’t on a squash court three days a week, and on a hiking trail or mountain bike or ultimate frisbee field in my spare time – I started a new business! I joined some groups that I’m proud and honoured to be a member of. I made new friends. I learned a LOT.

And I get to share what I’ve learned (and use what I’ve learned to reach and help people)!

And despite going through a time where I didn’t know whether I’d actually get back to the (fit + active) person that I was 2+ years ago, I made it.

I’m here! Back in my happy place.

Hindsight gives us all kinds of gifts.

Yes, usually I post tech tips, but today I thought I’d share a personal story in hopes that it strikes a chord or inspires you in some way.