Just Do It!

How many times have you said something like, “I really want to do such-and-such, but now isn’t a good time. I will do it someday, maybe next year.”? We all do it. Often, we say these things but then something will come up and so we put our plans on hold again until, eventually, someday never comes. Or it is too late when it finally does. And every once in awhile life gives us a wakeup call and reminds us that life is too short to keep waiting for “next year”.

I met my husband in 2008 on, of all places, MySpace (does anyone remember MySpace? It was THE social networking site before Facebook took over the world). When he asked me to be his “friend” I was recently divorced and had tried dating a few guys, many of whom I had also met on MySpace. Those experiences had given me a bad taste in my mouth, so I hesitated to accept his friend request.

I have to admit, I was quite impressed by his muscular physique, his nice message, and the fact that he was a hunter. But I was still leery; he looked too good to be true. It took me a week or two to accept his friend request, but I finally did. Unlike the other men I had “met” online, he was not crude or aggressive. We became pen-pals, sharing hunting stories and experiences and learning all about each others’ lives. I was living in Portland, Oregon, at the time and was unable to hunt, so he would share his current hunting adventures with me so I could live vicariously through him. As time went on, we became very close. He seemed to be the perfect man for me.

Unfortunately, he lived nearly 400 miles away and was a full-time parent to two teenage girls. Because of this, it was nearly a full year before we were finally able to actually meet in person. We knew that there was “chemistry” over the phone and online. The true test, however, would be whether it would be there in person. It took about 5 seconds to know that “yes”, it was there!! After a week-long visit, we decided that I should move to Washington, so I went back to Oregon, packed up my things, and returned a week later. The rest, as they say, is history. We got married the following June.

From the time we knew we were going to spend our lives together, we started making plans for the adventures we were going to undertake. Hunting trips to Alaska, wilderness backpacking trips, and mountain goat and bighorn sheep hunts in the remote mountains of Idaho were all on our future agenda. My husband is older than me, but years of weight training and an active lifestyle had kept him in excellent shape and capable of tackling the most extreme rugged treks. A life full of wonderful adventures lay ahead of us.

One snowy day in November, 2011, all of those plans came to a screeching halt. I received a call on my cell phone. The caller ID said it was from my husband but when I answered, a woman’s voice was on the other line, telling me not to worry but… my husband had been run over by a city bus. At the time, I didn’t realize the severity of his accident or the roller coaster ride of emotions that lay ahead.

As I waited in the Emergency Room over the next few hours, I learned that a city bus had clipped the handlebars of his bicycle as he rode down the edge of the road. The impact threw him off balance and his lower body landed under the bus, which ran over both of his legs, tearing skin and muscle right off the bones. Even my Superman was no match for the massive weight of the heavy vehicle. For the first 10 days after his injury, most of his surgeons held little hope that he would be able to keep his legs. There was a very strong chance that amputation of one, and possibly both legs would be necessary. Fortunately, he had a surgeon who consulted with a colleague across the state, who felt that he could save his legs. Countless surgeries, setbacks, and two months in the hospital later, my husband returned home with both of his legs. While we were grateful that amputation hadn’t been necessary, we were unsure what the future held as far as his ability to walk, let alone get back to the activities that he had done prior to the accident.

Fast forward a little more than a year. Although the journey has been difficult and there have been many challenges along the way, Ken is now not only walking, but playing his beloved racquetball, hiking, and even hunting. Last November, just a few days after the one-year anniversary of his accident, he packed his own deer out of some steep country. This spring, we have done a great deal of hiking in rugged terrain in search of antlers. We are again making plans for backpack and hunting trips. He is not 100% of his pre-accident status, but he is getting closer every week. He probably will never fully regain the level of activity he had before and he will forever bear nasty scars as a reminder of that dreadful November day. But he is here and he is able to do most of the things he used to do.

One of the best things to come of this trying experience was a renewed sense of appreciation for life and the sudden, acute awareness of how fragile life can be. It brought to the forefront the realization that life can change in the blink of an eye and that the plans we make today may never come to fruition. We both have become more motivated to live life to its fullest and not to put off our dreams until tomorrow. We were lucky; Ken’s accident was just a road bump in the path to our plans. It could have ended very differently. Our tomorrow may never have come. Now we enjoy and are grateful for every moment we have.

What dreams to you have? What excuses do you have that are keeping you from living your dreams? Take my advice: Don’t keep putting your dreams on hold. Decide today to live life to its fullest. Don’t risk looking back on your life and having nothing but regrets – wishing you had taken the opportunity to fulfill your dreams while you could. Just do it!

Apr 03, 2013 | Category: Blog | Comments: 3


3 comments on “Just Do It!

  1. Tom Payton

    Wow! Thank you for sharing such a personal story. I am sure this will have an impact on folks! Thanks again!!

    • Thia

      Thank you for your comment, Tom! I think that one of the best things about the challenges we face is that we can use them to make an impact on someone else.


  2. Nena

    Thank you for sharing this very personal but inspiring story! When I say inspiring, it is…For new beginnings, and overcoming handicaps! I watched my mother struggle through learning how to walk again after losing her toes in an accident. It is hard watching a loved one over come a handicap. But when they do you are so very proud of them! It is amazing what people can do when they are determined! This was a great story! Thank you again for sharing! Never give up, love life it is great! Nena

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