Friday, January 24, 2014

How could you break me?

It’s Friday and in my quagmire of Sloe Gin infused thoughts there is a theme running. It’s an amalgamation of different feelings and fleeting idea’s that have lead to a simple question:

When would I give up?

There have been a few antecedents to this question. Predominantly, the quarter-okay maybe half-bottle of Sloe Gin I have just drunk. It also includes, my Brother-in-law and how is at the moment; followed by swimming in the pool today and then just watching an episode of ‘Top Gear’.

They do seem incongruous as ideas, but there is a pattern to them. Let me explain.

My Brother-in-Law after a horrendous start to the weekend –by falling forty feet onto scaffolding- has come on leaps. Since Saturday when he was air-lifted to emergency he has under-gone, surgery, ICU, Ventilators,  sedation and Coma, to emerge a week later, awake, talking, and about to be transferred to a local hospital. However, there is no denying that the next year, is going to be tough. Walking, moving and anything involving more than lying in bed, is going to be a challenge. However, he will be able to move – maybe not brilliantly, but he will be able to perform most things in life (luckily). Will this break him? No. Would it break me? No.

Follow this, with my swim session this morning. I was feeling a little lousy. A combination of hormones, stress and general over-training has left me feeling ‘Blah’. I am building up my swimming in the idea of trying out a triathlon. As such, I making full use of a pull-buoy. Today, I swam 40 laps of a 25m pool -- without any real issues. Heck, I wasn’t even out of breath. A thought came to me. Despite my hate of swimming, if I lost the use of my legs, then they could strap a pull-buoy to my legs and I could swim. Would I break and fall to pieces? No, I would just keep going on.

As I supped my Sloe Gin, I watched an old episode of ‘Top Gear’. During this episode, the presenters tried a silly experiment to ‘beef-up’ a set of mobility scooters and try to race against a group of Army amputees, up a mountain. Of course, the army won. It made me think. What would it take for me to give up? I could work around a mountain.

Last April, after the Boston Marathon bombings I wrote a poem about how I was feeling, called ‘In defiance of you’. At the time, I suppose I had already thought how far someone might need to go to break my spirit and I came to the conclusion that whatever life threw at me, I could cope.

I could cope. I am forty years old and life can dish at me what it wants.

What would you need to take from me to stop me overcoming destiny. What sense would I have to lose? What disaster would be needed to overwhelm me?

I suppose there isn’t much.

If you took away my legs, I would get new ones and still run.
If you stopped me from walking, then I would swim.
If you took away my arms, then I could still walk
If you took away my arms and legs, then I could still think.
If you took away my sight, I could still hear.
If you took away my sense of hearing, I could still see.
If you took away both sight and hearing, I could still touch.
I would still have a voice.
If you took away sight, hearing, touch and voice, I would be lonely, but I could still dream and think and try.

What would it take to break me?

I suppose in my alcohol-fuzzy sense of thinking, I am empowered. To realize that life cannot beat me. Yes, it may throw troubled times my way, but I am strong enough to get through it. Through disasters, I can cope; I can create solutions and work around them. If you wanted to break me, then you would need to take my mind: My soul.

I know I can cope.


Despite what you may think of me, I can safely say, I am stronger than you think. That's a nice thought to fall asleep to.

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