When I told the PPP team about last week’s injury, Jenn asked me to write about it – particularly my tendency to see the positive side of negative events. She pointed this out a few months ago and we’ve both since noticed that the PPP team does this too. I’ll list some examples.
My Grandma Ida used to say, “Everything happens for a reason.” She was implying that things happen for the best. While that may not always be the case, it is an empowering belief that results in pulling the good out from the bad. From moment to moment, things happen – sometimes, really crappy things. But the past can be mined for lessons and other gems. Finding them simply requires looking.
Here are some examples.
Mountain biking accident: Last Monday I was riding a borrowed mountain bike on some single track through the forest near Crescent Lake, OR. I have done very little of this kind of riding and I probably should not have been in SPD pedals – there were lots of big tree roots crossing the trail, many of which were steep climbs. On one of these climbs, I didn’t clear a root with my rear wheel and I stopped. I didn’t get my left foot unclipped in time as I fell over hard. It felt like getting kicked really hard in the shin. When I got up and looked at what I expected to be a bad scrape and bruise, I realized it was far worse – the worst wound of my life. It looked like the flesh you see hanging off bodies in zombie movies. And what’s that? Hello Mr. Tibia! My two buddies were great. Brad flushed the wound with water and then wrapped it with the fabric from the back of John’s t-shirt. If you are among the morbidly curious, enjoy the gory pictures here.
Silver lining: I was lucky to not have impaled my torso on that hard, dead broken branch sticking straight up and also that my ligaments, bone and muscle tissue were not injured. Once the wound was wrapped, I enjoyed the six mile ride back to the cabins. I knew it would be my last ride for a while and that made it one of the best ever. Our vacation included four friends who are members of the Bend Fire Department and another who is a former EMT. These guys knew what to do and were stocked with supplies (see photo above). I learned some valuable lessons about wound care and emergency supplies that may serve well in the future. On the fun side, my boyhood dream of having a big scar will finally be fulfilled!
Hit by a car: In June, I was hit by a car during my evening ride home. Traffic was heavy and neither of us saw the other. The police informed us at the scene that I had the right of way since I was with the flow of traffic (he was turning into a gas station from the opposing center turn lane). If either of us had been more careful, the crash could have been avoided. His front bumper hit my front fork hard and I flew over the hood. It was loud. I landed on my head and right shoulder. My shoulder was sprained badly and a huge hematoma erupted on my right shin (see picture). My shins have taken a beating this year!
Silver lining: The driver was an important person known to me, but we had never met and were not likely to. When I discovered who he was during our post-crash discussion, I felt an instant rush of good luck. He called me a couple of times to check on me over the next week and said to contact him in the future if he could ever be of help. Wow! His insurance company covered the full cost to rebuild my bike, including a newer frame model with lugs on the front fork, so I can now easily add a front rack. I was lucky that I was not hurt worse. As a result of this incident, both of us will be more careful in the future. Who knows, but maybe this incident will prevent a much worse crash from happening in the future.
Didn’t win funding: PPP entered a competition that awards grant money to startups. We didn’t win.
Silver lining: We introduced PPP to many influential contacts and companies who participated in the application review process. As a result, many of these people may use our services or recommend us to others. We also learned more about the angel investor community and we have applied some of that knowledge to our operations and planning.
These are a few of the many examples of why I keep looking on the bright side.
What’s your silver lining story?