On July 7, 2008 I woke up in Harborview Hospital in Seattle. I’d been in an induced coma for six days, after being in a bad bicycle accident.
I reflect on this each July, marking the anniversary of the accident itself on the first by riding my bike into work. I take the same route I took that morning six years ago. The first time I visited the site after it happened, you could still see my bike’s outline painted on the road. That’s long since faded.
Each time I ride towards the site, I hold my breath a bit, like I’m diving into water. When I pass, it’s relief. Strange ritual –but I do this each year to show myself that I can.
When the accident comes up in conversation now, I’m struck by a sense of distance from it. That’s good. Over time our scars fade – even if they never quite completely disappear.
When I reflect on those days in 2008, I feel appreciation for the love and support from my family and friends that pulled me through this. My strange ritual is a reminder to appreciate these things every day.
I wouldn’t have chosen this particular adventure, but I’ve been given a great opportunity with it.
Reflect, hold your breath, then dive in.