Crutching Around New York City

The good folks at St. Barnabas Hospital gave me a 21 minute DVD on how to use crutches. By the time my knee heals, I’ll be so good at using crutches that I’ll add it to my LinkedIn profile. It’s cool too, because my friend Sean said he’d endorse me for my newfound skill.

I didn’t think I needed the crutches after the surgery on my right knee to remove part of a torn meniscus. A few hours after the surgery I was back in Manhattan, hobbling around the apartment and itching to get back to the gym. As such, I stashed the crutches in my closet, AKA cupboard. That lasted for about oh, an hour. The drugs must have worn off because anything more than slight pressure on my right foot and I’d be hurting. So out came the crutches and in went the DVD into my PS4. Curious to see what the latest and greatest is in crutch usage.

(By the way, what’s the cost of making a DVD? Can’t they just give a link to a YouTube Video? It will probably save them a lot on production costs plus make it easier for me to view. I mean, what if I didn’t have a PS4?!)

I have to thank God that up until a month ago, I had never been seriously injured. Or injured enough to need surgery. As such, this is my first time being sidelined for an extended period of time. Man, this is what Derrick Rose must feel like everyday.

Like most New Yorkers, my routine consists of hurriedly running from a part of the city to another. We seem to always be focused on where we NEED to be and not where we are. I’m guilty of it. Most of my day seems like a tightly wound guitar where one loose string can derail my song (or day).

“OMG, I have to be at the gym by 5:45am to be done by 7am to be in the office by 7:30am to grab breakfast before my 8am call!”

Everything to us depends on time. And while that’s not a bad thing per say, it switches our focus from the present to some place in the future. That preocuppation cannot be good for us. As Seneca says in his ruthless and timeless “On The Shortness of Life”

Everyone hustles his life along, and is troubled by a longing for the future and weariness of the present. But the man who … organizes every day as though it were his last, neither longs for nor fears the next day…

Earlier today, I ventured out of my apartment to grab some food at the nearby Grey Dog. My first instinct, even with crutches, was crutch the f*** up and hurry up to my destination. It’s crazy because I had no one to meet and I wasn’t on any timetable. I was hurrying along because I was used to it. How many times have I blindly done that?

Because of my knee, I had to slow down and hobble cautiously down West 4th and Carmine. Once I caught my breathe and became mindful of my knee and mindful of where I was, things began to look different. The nighborhood I had lived in for over a year didn’t look familiar. And it was because I had only known it as I was hurrying by to the office or to a lunch (I refuse to acknowledge brunch. If you drink at 2pm you need to re-evaluate your choices).

But walking at a glacial pace, things looked new and unfamiliar. On one hand, I found this invigorating and exciting. But then a sobering thought came over me

“What else have I missed out on by always being in a rush?”

For the next ten days or so, I’ll have no option but to crutch around the city. But maybe it’s a timely injury, one that’s giving me no choice but to slow down. We get so caught up in our day to day routine that we forgot to stop for a second and reflect on what we’re doing and to ask ourselves the tough questions:

  1. Am I happy?
  2. Am I doing good work?
  3. Am I a good person? Son? Brother? Boyfriend?
  4. Do I feel fulfilled?

By no means am I going through another quarter life crisis, mostly because I’ve slowed down at just the right time, but it’s good to momentarily pause and take inventory on how we feel.

I’m happy with where I’m at and what I’m working on. But I wouldn’t know it if I didn’t pause and reflect from time to time. Or if I didn’t have a DVD on how to use crutches.