The Uncertainty Principle
I’m excited. Big day for me – a key appointment with my surgeon, and, as six weeks have passed since my last surgery, two months since my accident, we should finally see bone growth, hopefully some notable healing, and remove the cast in favor of a boot. The view of the RMNP skyline, on the ride down from Estes this morning, made my heart dance. I miss it. It’ll still be awhile until I can learn to walk again, but my leg feels good, and I’ve tried to avoid thinking about the “what ifs.” What if it doesn’t heal right? What if we don’t see bone growth on the Xrays today? What if something goes wrong? There’s no guarantee that the bones will grow back together after being so pulverized.
My cousin asked me how I handle the uncertainty of it all. Truth is, I don’t know. It’s weird in a way – alpinism has everything to do with the unknown, and embracing uncertainty. There, I love it. I guess I’m used to it. But, come to think of it, the uncertainty of it used to terrify me. As it does now in other realms. It’s still a challenge. Life is a challenge – at least to live it in the way that feels right.
With my leg, some variables remain that are simply beyond my control. In life, other variables exist that are worse, and I can get crazy carried away sometimes, to where I feel like there’s a hornet’s nest inside my head. Some things can still reduce me to a crumpled mess. But with my leg, I’ve done great. Last summer gave me perspective. Sometimes I call upon the strength that gets me through difficult climbs, but that also sits right alongside my weaknesses, and transfer it into forcing the runway train to stop, to put up a barrier around my inner self that blocks the hornet’s nest. Breathe…Stop, focus on the moment, everything is OK right now.
Sometimes it works.
Climbing is easy.
Climbing is good. With my leg, maybe the truth is that I just can’t go there, into thinking that my active life could change so drastically. When I let my mind drift close to that edge it scares me too much, because while part of me knows I could probably adapt and live a meaningful life, as so many others have proven possible, part of me doesn’t know if I could. It’s an unknown that I don’t want to embrace. But I don’t need to, because right now, in this moment, everything is OK. And very soon, I’ll know whether or not that’s really true.
OK, I’m off to see the doc.