This is Part 2 in a 4 part series. Click here to read Part 1.
Sharing the introduction of my story of my “run in” with a seriously large pickup truck on July 24, 2019 with you, my reader, has opened up my thinking about not only what I hope to accomplish with this series, but it has also inspired me to give my best effort to “move you” as well to a new level of consciousness and commitment to your own wellbeing
Let’s agree that moments like these are rare and what we do in the process of learning about ourselves can also enable us to help others who may be going through – or will go through – a similar moment in their lives. This is my intention: To NOT waste this opportunity to move beyond my own agenda but create a “template” for others to follow in the future as well.
My Story Continues
After I was released from the trauma center on July 27th, it occurred to me that I FINALLY had my own story to tell in relation to what “healthy aging” has meant – and will mean – to me as I go forward as an advocate of the principles I have practiced for more than 40 years. Getting to this point in time the way I have (no major crisis to challenge me with health implications), made my message not seem “real” after I was finally confronted with this unexpected event.
As I continue to build this narrative for you, I want you to remember that this is the first time I have written about something in my life that is ACTUALLY happening to me in the present. There are no “markers” (or roadmaps to follow) to guide me as I explore this journey while it is unfolding in “real-time”. This is all new territory for both of us and I will be curious to see what emerges as I write about my responses to the challenges I will face – and the choices I make going forward.
Recovery and Healing
I asked myself many times while in the trauma center what would true healing look like if I were to embrace the opportunities for growth and expansion of my consciousness available to me? I have yet to arrive at a conclusion that I feel would make sense so let me just reiterate my previous thought on the subject: Healing is NOT just a physical issue – it involves our feelings and thoughts and beliefs about ourselves as human beings.
I believe “below the surface” of life lie the “truths” that we all seek. I am convinced that this incident was not a “random” moment but one that was designed for me so that I could confront my own ideas and beliefs about healthy aging. This thought resonated with me because when I wrote Healthy Aging & You: Your Journey to Becoming Happy Healthy & Fit in 2006 I made a point of covering in detail my own philosophy of life and spirituality as it relates to the aging process as I was living – and am living it – in the present.
When we examine our lives from a new perspective sometimes we may be surprised at how much we missed in our initial review because of the viewpoint we had adopted earlier in our experience. This conversation on what healing is – and isn’t – will be ongoing long after I am gone. In the meantime I want to be a part of the conversation on healthy aging – and healing – NOW while I am still able to articulate my thoughts on this most important subject. This will, of course, include my current situation and the process I am undertaking right now for your benefit – as well as mine.
The journey began in pain and lasted another 2 weeks upon my release from the trauma center. The pain I dealt with during this time related to muscles that protected my ribcage and the ribs themselves – since 8 of them were now broken. Sleeping well continued to be an issue since finding a comfortable posture in bed was almost impossible.
My body became fatigued from the constant spasm attacks and feeding myself was always an issue since it required me to move around and move in ways that inevitably led to more rounds of painful moments of spasm. I had to also recognize that moving was imperative and staying prone was not an answer. I did make it a point to move, read the paper, and try to remain engaged beyond my fear of the next spasm.
I started keeping a journal in the days following my release – (and have continued to do so) – in order to follow my recovery progress. I have always believed in recording my training sessions. I have been diligent over the years in keeping records so I that could always refer to them in order to see how I was progressing with my running and weight training programs. I figured it would work just as well with my journey of recovery and healing from the collision. It has worked quite well for me – so consider it when the need arises!
I couldn’t see any relief in the near future but finally by August 2nd I had experienced “a relaxing of my muscles” as the spasms began subsiding. It proved to be a great relief! Exhaustion now set in since I had been so “wired” to the pain so relief was a new feeling for me. This new sensation of physical exhaustion felt different and new to me which meant healing physically had begun! I then realized I was also emotionally exhausted. I began realizing how long term this journey could eventually be for me. It would require “patience” and that thought was a little disconcerting, to say the least!
Acceptance and the Next Phase of the Journey
I will let you know now that acceptance “of what is” becomes the starting point of real healing because we cannot “speed up” anything with regards to how fast we heal – physically, emotionally, or spiritually. It is NOT in our control! I have spent the past weeks getting to know my body again and slowly integrating exercise back into my experience. Each day I plan some cardio and/or light resistance training to remind my mind, heart and muscles who I truly am – an athlete on the road to recovery.
Before the truck hit me I had been training at a very high level. I was doing 6 mile runs in 30 minutes and lifting weights at my best. I had added 400-500 pushups, 400 hanging dips and was continuing to build up my upper body. The time I spent executing my new fitness programming was the reason my torso – and ribs – took the hit they did and were able to save me from a much more difficult fate!
The first part of my recovery will include sharing my thoughts with you about how I am going to recover my physical skills. I also intend to review for you how I will address expanding my consciousness to include my role going forward as an advocate of the principles of healthy aging based on this new information and the challenges I now face.
This is my purpose in including you in this experience: To expand not only my understanding of something I value deeply (healthy aging) but also help each of you adopt a new perspective on your own lives and what is important to you going forward!
What a purpose and mission to assume at this stage of my life! I hope you become as excited about the potential of this journey as I am because it really could be life-changing! Let us each be open and receptive in order to grow in consciousness as best we can for it could save YOUR life in the future!
Part 3 coming next week!
Nicholas Prukop is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer & a Health Coach and fitness professional with over 25 years of experience. His passion for health and fitness comes from his boyhood in Hawaii, where he grew up a swimmer on Maui. He found his calling in writing his first book “Healthy Aging & You: Your Journey to Becoming Happy, Healthy & Fit” and since then he has dedicated himself to empowering, inspiring and enabling people of all ages to reach for the best that is within them and become who they are meant to be – happy, healthy and fit – and be a part of a world where each person can contribute their own unique gifts to life.