Following up on my 1st post which described my injury and briefly touched on my predicament with work…
Yes, I had a contract with a couple to be wed that I was to be photographing their special day which happened to land 10 days after my ATR surgery. As I quickly discovered the realities of being in crutches, I began to fill with dread at the potential disaster I might have made for myself that unfortunate day I tried (and failed) to appear super-human for my wife and kids. I was amazed at how out of shape I had truly become all because I decided to leave the sport of bodybuilding two years prior and all of the issues I had with it. Balancing on one leg to brush my teeth. Going to the mall with the family. Helping my kids clean up toys on the floor. It all seemed so impossible. How could I photograph an entire 9 hour wedding when it was proportionately so much larger than those simple yet difficult tasks?? Simple… build myself up. In TEN days!
"Honey, want to join us at the mall?" ME: "absolutely!" (words that normally would never escape my mouth)
"Honey, want to go for a walk at the park" ME: "absolutely!"
"Honey, want to head out to the grocery store, costco, and stop at a few other stores?" ME: "absolutely!"
Even when my foot was swelled up to the size of a soft-ball, I was out on my crutches building up my arms. THIS is where my bodybuilding background really came in my handy. As they say in the gym, "muscle has memory". It sure did!
Soon enough I was at the wedding, booting around the church on those crutches like the energizer bunny. The camera strap would allow for transportation of camera, and the crutches would stabilize me when I’d shoot. They allowed me to become a human tripod!
I did get through the wedding ok. It was the most draining thing I’d ever done. Part of that is due to the adrenaline my body was producing in response to the anxiety for such a demanding and stressful job. The pictures turned out pretty great too!
When the day eventually came when I was appointed to have my cast removed and replaced with a walking air-cast, I was able to travel up to 8 kilometers on crutches at full walking speed. The reception desk thought I was nuts when I showed up covered in sweat for having brought myself to the hospital for my appointment on foot.
Others here attest to the positive experience their injury has been for them. I’m in that group. I’m at the gym every day or other day now doing everything from bike, to hypertrophy weight training for upper body, and strengthening of my quads and hamstrings. I suppose dreams of making it to the stage are no longer, but I think an injury can be a very humbling experience… if building character is what I can work on for the rest of my life, than I’ll take it rather the partaking in a sport that is obsessed with vanity and muscle building.
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