This week I’ve been having issues with my ankle, due to a problem with a pair of shoes a couple of weeks ago. The truth is, the shoes stirred up a problem I’ve dealt with since I turned 13.
Long before music videos had been created, I would dance to songs on the radio, making up the drama in my head. Songs of the 60s and 70s were ripe with tragic teens, crushed love, and social change. All these mini-dramas eventually turned me toward screenwriting for awhile. But in the meantime, they were responsible for a life-changing injury.
Deep into the story and song one day, I took off running and did a “grand jete” from our living room into our den, which was one step down. Grand jete, is French for “great leap,” and you can find a demo of it here.
Only I had never taken ballet. I was not lithe and limber. My landing spot was a concrete floor. Definitely NOT the smartest thing I've ever done.
I came down on the side of my foot. The sound as I landed bore a loud resemblance to a teenager grinding the gears on a manual transmission. The screams that followed went on for a long time and even brought the neighbors over. Not a break, just the worst sprain ever. I used crutches for six weeks.
The first week I set the crutches aside, I re-sprained it. The ankle has been weak since. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve sprained it. I can twist it stepping off a curb or putting my foot down wrong on a stair. I've fallen holding my baby. Twice. High heels are a nemesis to be feared. Just looking at a pair of stilettos makes my palms sweat.
Six years after the initial sprain, the weakness led to me breaking the ankle while I was snow camping, seven miles from the trail head.Six weeks in a cast. But when I got an invitation to go rappelling and rock climbing, I took the cast off with the help of my roommate, and off we went. This is a picture I took during that trip.
So what does this have to do with writing? Plenty. Because it’s about taking a leap (submitting) and falling (rejection). It’s about trying again and falling, taking yet another sprain to your ego. It’s about taking a fall so hard, you feel broken.
And it’s about slowing down to heal but not stopping.
It’s also about more than writing. We all make leaps of faith, but just because you know it’s what God wants for you doesn’t mean the way will be smooth. Or easy.
It'll just be worth it in the end.