My husband has even remarked on occasion, that it is a challenge to get me to let him help me with things.
This personality trait has impacted my life greatly in the past 18 months...
We moved from Atlanta, Ga to Northern Virginia this past July, in the year preceding that move, my husband Alex had already been living in Virginia. This left me at home, on my own, no family living close by, with two kids, a house to put on the market (i.e. pack up everything that isn't needed on a daily basis), keep clean while it was on the market and eventually pack up after it sold, and all the responsibilities that come with being a homeowner, mom, and business owner.
This isn't that big of a deal, there are people who handle this all the time (any parent who has a spouse deployed overseas, or single parents, etc.), the problem for me is that I wouldn't ask for help. When absolutely forced to by circumstances, I would ask, and feel guilty the entire time that I needed help.
When people OFFERED to help me, sometimes I took them up on their offer, but sometimes I wouldn't.
I didn't want to be a burden.
All of this kind of snowballed on me, when Alex would come home for brief stretches, I expected him to take a lot of the burden from me, I NEEDED A BREAK! That wasn't really fair to him, but I felt like he was the only person I was allowed to ask for help because they are his kids too :D
And then about a month ago something really big happened...
I tripped, flipped over a low wall, landed on the right side of my right foot...
...and broke my foot.
The lucky part of this circumstance is that I was at a Rev3 race in Maine, so I was surrounded by my Rev3 family.
The thing about a broken foot is... you can't do everything yourself, at least not in the very beginning.
Originally, I thought it was a sprain, but I couldn't put any weight on my foot and the boys wanted to go mini golfing... I needed to get to an urgent care clinic to get some crutches. Well, here is the thing... I needed help to do that... I couldn't drive and I didn't have a car.
So I did the unthinkable - I asked for help.
Via the amazing Team Rev3 and the Rev3 staff, a car was borrowed (from my teammate Laura) and my friend Hannah asked her boss :D if she could take the time to drive me to the hospital.
I had become my worst nightmare - an inconvenience.
I had two kids to entertain, but I was supposed to sit around for 3 days doing nothing but elevating my foot and icing it. And let's not gloss over the fact that IT HURT! and I was SCARED about how it would impact my life.
But here is the thing... I finally accepted help from people.
...well, if you ask anyone who was there in Maine, I suppose it would be more fair to say they forced me to accept their help. I was wasn't a willing participant, but as the weekend continued, I started to realize something...
People didn't really mind helping me. Just like I wouldn't mind helping someone who was in my position. In fact, I would be honored to help them! And I realized something intrinsically (that I wasn't able to put into words until my friend Maggie did so)
....that just like it makes ME feel good to help OTHERS, it makes OTHERS feel good to help ME.
The way Maggie put it best was this
Breaking my foot has been good for me in so many ways!
The biggest has been the point of this post - to ask for / accept help from others is just as much of an act of giving as receiving (as long as you are an individual committed to giving to others in the future - i.e. paying it forward).
Other littler things - my littlest guy (just turned 5 in August) has been relying on me lately to do a lot of things for him, he's been forced to become a little more independent these last few weeks, and that has improved his confidence that he is able to do more things for himself :)
Another good thing - I knew pretty much the second the PA at Maine Medical told me it was broken that my "comeback" was over. No triathlons for me in 2013. As I look back on it, I've been forcing myself to get back to "triathlon" training. As I've struggled to gain fitness while having a broken foot, I've been forced to realize that there are lots of ways to become fit. It isn't just about swimming, biking and running (what?!?!). EVERY time I workout on the hand cycle IT's A PR! And I can tell by the smiles I get from folks at the gym - just being there, hobbling around on my crutches, I'm inspiring them to accept no excuses for not working out.
I'm still a work in progress, just the other day a gentleman asked if he could help me get my grocery cart to my car, he was with his wife and I didn't want to delay them, so I said "no thank you". As I looked back on it, I realized... I denied him the pleasure of helping someone, and the good feelings that come from that.
So while we may all be able to "do it myself!", sometimes it's doing the right thing to accept offers of help!
and THANK YOU to everyone who has been helping me so much this past month!!
Some photos of the broken foot:
I was fascinated with how swollen my foot was
|Laura (@frayedlaces) did a kick butt job in cushioning my crutches!|
As Jamie said "Hobble like an animal just doesn't have the same ring to it"; oh well, I still love my Pearl Izumi tshirt!
And in closing: