I’ve been retelling my story of losing consciousness on Mountain Eight in Breckinridge, Colorado back in 2008. Here’s a shortened version for your consumption. Chew on this one for awhile.
It was a beautiful summer morning, Jordan and I were mountain biking before breakfast, when I came around the last switchback like a bat out of hell, and faced the horns of a dilemma. A woman was serpentining across the trail – either I t-bone her at 30mph or I swerve off the trail. My last memory that morning was feeling my feet leave the pedals. For a few, glorious seconds I flew…
Concused with two broken shoulders, head wounds, five broken ribs, I sat confused as the ambulance sirens blared inside my hurting head. Terry (paramedic) approached me and asked me if I knew my name. Instead of answering him directly, I informed him that I knew what he was doing. I told him that I do this same drill with my clients. He was not amused. Eventually I told him my name is Chester. Terry asked if I knew what time it was. Summer, I replied. I had no clue.
He smiled and asked me if I knew where I was. The mountains was all I could muster. Finally he asked if I knew what just happened. No idea was my ccd response. He radioed the Frisco Hospital. “We’ve got an A & O X 1 coming in.” Translation. My level of consciousness was 1 out of 4. Fully awake and oriented would be 4 out of 4. I was, in fact, a perfect example of someone sleep walking through life. The funny thing was, until my brain began to reboot, I thought I was actually with it.
You, friend, are most likely sleep walking through life. You think you’re fully awake and oriented and don’t have a virtuous paramedic checking your bullshit. You think you know your names, but only really know your titles and positions. You think you know what time it is but can’t actually sit in the present, much less identify kairos moments and, worse yet, make the most of ‘em. You think you know where you are and yet the reality is you live in the past and fear the future. Your mind and body are rarely aligned. You think that whatever happens to you is, well, you know happening to you. You blame others, circumstances, and settle for continuous, chronic pain. You have no idea that acute pain eradicates the chronic. You think dull aches are simply your lot in life, you know.
Everyday, I wake up. Before my feet hit the carpet, I remind myself who I am, what time it is (kairos), bathe in gratitude for why I’m here and where I get to take the day, and remind myself to embrace acute pain and embody truth in love. I wake up to the reality that life is designed to be hard and it’s up to me to learn to do hard things well by doing them kinda shitty at first. I remind myself to lean in to life. I thank God for the gift and get after it. I’ve got a lot of waking up still to do.
Slow down. Sit with this. Evaluate your level of A&O. Ask a truth teller (real friend) to adjust your mirrors (another good story). You see, friend, your car does not have a blind spot – you do.
Live hard. Love harder…