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  • Writer's pictureIlana Newman

On being injured in a fast paced life

Theres nothing like being unable to physically move to give the mind a chance to race.

Everything suddenly comes to a halt in one singular moment of falling. Before I knew it, everything was racing by, and then I was in the air. I wanted to think about how to land but before I knew it, I was on my butt, and back up, adrenaline pumping.

I didn’t feel the pain until after the two hour hike out. It wasn’t until the next day that the whiplash set in, and the bruise began to form under my hip. My ankle was swollen and my back wouldn’t bend. Nothing was broken, but it would be a minute before I would be able to return to work. So here I sit, practicing the lost art of patience. Healing.

Its crazy for me to think of everything happening inside my body right now. It makes me want to know more about the biology and chemistry behind healing and bodies. What I do know is that, just like magic, if I wait long enough and do all the right things, my body will no longer feel this way. The muscles and tendons and ligaments that are bent out of shape currently will, over time, knit themselves back together the way they belong. My ankle will be able to flex again. My back will be able to bend without aching. My bruises will heal.

But what will happen to my head? What will it be like to go back out on the ice? Will I be able to trust my crampons when they have now failed me? Will I ever develop the confidence that I admire so much in others? The ease of defying both gravity and logic? The world of ice is no place for humans and yet here we are, drawn to the mystery and the unknown like always.

Glaciers are powerful and they can take as much and as quickly as they can give. Comfort causes complacency, and complacency can literally kill. The beauty and the mystery and the desire to understand and be good enough are just temptations. Humility in the face of human and personal limitations are the only way to really be able to exist within and on these icy beings.

I think I can once again gain that confidence and allow it to grow. The key will be to never lose the humility. I never want to forget my place in the universe. I never want to forget what it is like to know nothing. I never want to forget what it feels like to learn and grow and admire.

Everything I am and everything I do involves a functioning body and I am so incredibly grateful to have one most of the time. It gives me perspective on what it would be like if I were really unable to do these things I love to do, who I would be without climbing. Who would be left if I did not have the climbing community or if I could no longer participate in physical adventures? Who would I be if I could no longer move?

I would still be me, and I would still have passion, but transitioning that passion would be a crazy experience. I can think of those people who would still be around, and the more I think about it, those are the people who matter. The ones who love me for me, and not for the things that I do. The ones that have seen me through all sorts of phases throughout my life, and will be there for all of the others, no matter what form they take.

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