Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Watch Your Step

Last Thursday morning, I headed out the door for a simple 5 mile run. The air was cool in the pre-dawn darkness and it felt good to be moving.

I rounded a corner and ran past a construction project the city refers to euphemistically as “infrastructure enhancement,” a nice term for a new sewer lift station. Being the machine and process geek that I am, the two matching Cat backhoes caught my attention. I was comparing them and their tasks in the project and….

Wham. I nearly went down, hard.

While staring at the backhoes, I snagged the edge of a hole created in the pavement by the heavy equipment. I turned my left foot and ankle pretty severely. It hurt a lot. I yelled and came to a complete stop. “You idiot!” I told myself. “Why didn’t you pay attention instead of day dreaming about big machines?” It was a serious scolding.

I walked a bit to check the damage. Finding I could walk, I tried to run and continued slowly along, not wanting to give up the run. I eventually decided to turn around sooner than planned and cut the run to 4 miles. Later in the day, I wondered about the wisdom of continuing, as I spent much of the work day shoeless, an ace bandage holding a bag of ice to my foot as I popped more Vitamin I.

During the run, though, I thought about how fortunate I was to have this pain as a lesson. I did a stupid thing and had this evidence of my own stupidity. I knew it would be temporary (shoot, I ran 17 miles on the foot two days later). But the lesson was bigger. And, as I slogged through the rest of the run, a sobering connection hit me.

My mind shifted to the story which had emerged a couple days earlier about Idaho Senator Larry Craig who ended up
resigning from the US Senate over poor choices he made in a Minneapolis restroom earlier this summer. Whatever the actual story is for the Senator, in a moment, he made a very bad choice. That choice cost him his Senate seat, his credibility, his integrity, his name. All because he wasn’t paying attention. Wham, down he went.

Choices I make have impact on my family, my integrity, my career, my conscience. I have to watch my step. The very repairable damage to my left foot was a tangible reminder to me to watch my step. The ancient saying came to mind; “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”



Mary Gee said...

Did you go get that thing X-rayed. It looks like a broken bone to me!

Backofpack said...

Okay, Joe, sorry about this, but I find it a little bit funny! Grown man admiring big boy toys, hurts himself via the toys. It cracks me up - mostly because my own grown man loves the big boy toys too! I'm glad it's already better and that you found a lesson in it.

Anonymous said...

Your ankle makes me hurt just looking at it. Hope it heals soon.

Good words of wisdom. There is a track on the new Casting Crowns CD titled "Slow Fade". One of the lines in the chorus is "People never crumble in a day, It's a slow fade."

Your post reminded of the song and how we need to keep our eye on the prize and as you say, persevere.

Darrell said...

Very good lesson there.

I can hardly believe that you ran 17 miles two days later, that things looks pretty bad.

Wes said...

Ouch! Hurts me just to look at it :-) Glad it didn't hold you back. You are so right. We are the pebble tossed into the proverbial glass lake.... The ripple affect touches a lot of people.

IronWaddler said...

Take care,Joe. It does give you respect for thinking about everything that you do. Hope it feels alot better soon.

Sarah said...

Glad it didn't turn out to be a long-term injury! I've had those "you idiot!" moments too. Good lesson!

Karen said...

Joe, Go to a doctor.... it looks BAD! I know you like to analyze and symbolize, but I agree with some of the other people---it looks awful!

Accidents happen when we are not fully attentive, but after the fact, you need to take proper action!

From your sister!!