Get on the Dance Floor!

Tracey Broken Leg

This past weekend I was at a family wedding and had the great good fortune to meet an exceptional women who happened to be in a wheel chair due to a permanent condition.

As I watched her wheel out onto the dance floor and let loose, dancing exuberantly in the wheel chair, I couldn’t help but sense the incredible positive energy she felt about being alive. In the here and now. No holding back, and no excuses.

Naturally, that inspiration got me out on the dance floor on my crutches, which was tricky, given all the moving feet flying around me, but exhilarating nevertheless! I thanked her for being such a wonderful inspiration, both in the moment and how the impression stayed with me.

My recent experiences with all the challenges that a busted ankle entail have shown me the true value of adversity, not that my circumstances have been all that bad in the grand scheme of things. But life-events that leave us in a diminished state, temporary or not, can serve as wakeup calls; stark reminders of how all the other wonderful, trying, challenging, uplifting, and sometimes exasperating or depressing facets of our lives are still there. Still there for the taking, and still there for the experiencing.

It was a perfect wakeup call for me. A recent visit to my orthopedic surgeon so that I could finally get the cast removed had frankly left me a little frustrated. When I looked at the x-ray, I noticed two bars across the front of my ankle that looked like nails. How could he not have mentioned that “hardware” in addition to all the screws? Or did I just blank it out? Either way, it was distressing, to say the least.

And then I learned that I will need to have them removed — separate and apart from removing the screws — if I’m going to get back the full range of motion in my ankle.

Oh, poor me!

Watching my new friend at the wedding completely put me straight. Like a perfectly timed slap in the face.

We all have obstacles, some more lasting than others, and some that are truly debilitating in a way that cancels out certain options in life. But for most of us, the great majority of barriers that pop up never rise to the level of representing excuses to avoid embracing life. I may need my crutches right now, but that doesn’t give me an excuse to stay off the dance floor.

I realize that the more I objectively focus on the facts, as opposed to subjectively focusing on the things my emotional self wants to highlight, the more I am able to ‘be present’ to my life. And enjoy it! — despite all the mishaps, foibles, disruptions, surprises, detours, stumbles, errors, triumphs, breakthroughs, brick walls, aha! moments, oh no! moments, heartbreaks, oops moments, “wish I could take it back” moments, doubting moments, ‘wow I didn’t see that coming moments,’ and ‘gee, I have a barrier to deal with’ moments.

There is a way of looking at things that says, “fate hands us the lessons we need to learn at just the right moment we need to learn them.” Whether that’s true or not, I certainly feel like my new friend handed me a life-lesson that was right on the mark. Perfectly timed.

Our put a pebble in your shoe that was sent on Tuesday takes this thought to another level. I encourage you to read it — life hands us these opportunities all the time, and mostly we squander them. Time to not squander them!

Healthfully yours,


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