4 Years, 0 Breaks
By: Connor Lenahan
I jinxed myself.
I had an idea for what I would put on my cap for graduation sometime over the past few months, and the thought alone made me convinced I was doomed. You do not talk about a no-hitter with the pitcher as it happens. For me, you don’t get ahead of yourself when there’s still time left before yesterday’s milestone.
So, naturally, I jinxed myself anyway. Partially for the Instagram likes, and partially because I was confident.
As of yesterday, I have now gone four years without breaking any bones. More importantly, I have made it through my undergrad college career without breaks. Needless to say, this is a big deal. Especially when I think about how I’ve broken my leg inside my house more times than I have the city of Boston, despite spending four years navigating snow, ice, Red Sox crowds, and an occasional wheelchair robbery.
Something dawned on me yesterday. My last break was my left tibia and fibula on June 4, 2013. But the last break before that was December 12, 2009. Today I’m celebrating 4 years without breaks, but it’s also technically seven and a half years with just one.
I’ve said it before, but it is worth mentioning again – this is something I never imagined happening. Well, that’s not true. I definitely imagined it happening, but I’ve also imagined myself dunking on Steph Curry, so not everything comes to fruition. Yet this one did.
It goes without saying that a lot of this is due to the friends, family, doctors, and random people that help me on any given day. I’m thankful for any help given. It’s not always easy to ask for help – I have a very stubborn independent streak in me. But I also have come to grips with a lot of the realities about who I am and what I can do. More than anything, this is the most healthy lesson I’ve learned the last few years.
I also have started to get smarter about managing my body. When I was at Abington Heights I would walk the building every day without my chair. This was a terrific exercise for me, but also put far more wear and tear on my legs than necessary. I’ve rolled back my walking considerably, and my daily aches and pains are much more manageable. I can somehow stand for longer periods now than ever before. I’d call that a sign of taking 3-6 miles a day off my legs and putting it on my wheels being successful.
I’m also very cautious not to burn my body out. The past 6-9 months have been filled with numerous lingering injuries and illnesses that seemingly never ended. My first thing to do post-graduation? Relax. I don’t like being lazy, but I sure as hell was going to take myself up on the chance to sleep in and watch some TV as I enter my first homework-free stretch since the Summer of 2015.
More than anything, I’m just happy that I can watch the calendar roll over on another break free year. I’m fairly certain that there will be more breaks down the line – an unfortunate part of Osteogenesis Imperfecta, it’s never completely gone – but I’m equally sure that I’ll have more control over what that break is. I’m managing risk. Maybe it makes me a little more boring than I could be, but who needs rock climbing anyway? I’m well aware of my quarter-inch vertical leap, no need to try and dunk now.
Here’s to four successfully break free years, one break in the 2010s, and hopefully many more years of clean bills of health to come.