February 18th 2006, I came to sitting on the ground in my paraglider harness after having collided with power lines, a mis-adventure I was lucky to survive. A year later and I guess I can reflect a little on what has happened since.
It’s strange, that still, all I can remember prior to the accident was the moment I saw the power lines in front of me as I was headed in to land. I can’t recall the 10 minutes or so that it must have taken to fly from where I last remembered being in the air to this precarious location
You would think something like this would have a profound impact on your life; shake you up; make you realize what’s important; maybe find a new purpose to it all. Well, to be honest, not much has changed, maybe it’s too early to judge, but, life goes on.
Don’t get me wrong, I feel very fortunate to be alive and for me the fact that I’ve been able to get back to life, so fully, so quickly is pretty darn amazing. I don’t know if I need to find anything more significant than that.
I never imagined something like this would happen (who would?), losing a hand wasn’t at the top of the list of things I figured for my future . I’ve enjoyed participating in a number of “risk” sports and in hindsight part of that enjoyment required a suspension of disbelief that anything would happen…even though there were numerous people who it did happen to each year.
Do I wish I’d never gone paragliding that day? You bet! And at the same time, there’s part of me that knows I have grown with the experience, I feel stronger for the experience. To face adversity and come out the other side smiling gives you a sense of certainty about life. So I’d love to have my hand back, but, I don’t want to lose who am I today. I’m a better person, a better husband and I’m happy.
Losing a limb doesn’t need to be the end of your life and how you handle it is down to you. You decide the meaning, the significance you attach to a situation. It’s all about your state of mind and the state it’s in is down to you.
Interestingly, searching google for the phrase “It was a year ago today” turns up about 16,400 results, I guess that’s 16,401 now…