By the time you read this, I’ll have had ACL Surgery. In fact, I’m writing this just 7 hours before I head in to the Operating Room.

I’ll be honest – I’m kinda nervous and I’m definitely not looking forward to it. This is my first surgery. This is my first time getting anesthesia. This is my first time getting THIS hurt.

It happened just one month after turning 40. I had set out to accomplish 40 unique challenges in my 40th year. One of those challenges was to learn to Skateboard again and eventually master a Kickflip. With a brand new board in the trunk, I headed to a Skatepark and got back to work. It had been 9 years since I had dropped in on a Half Pipe. Upon further reflection, I can concede that I MIGHT have wanted to warm up first…but who has time for that! I have to act like I’m 20 again!

It was all a LOT faster than I remember! But after 20 minutes of looking like one of those Hula Hoop Figures people have on their Dashboard, my confidence was coming back to me! I was getting some of my old tricks back. I was getting less wobbly. I was getting fewer looks of disgust from the gaggles of 13 year old boys that skated by. All was going well…until I stepped out of a fairly simple trick and fell about 6 feet. My body was heading in one direction, my left leg had other plans. While my body went right, my leg went left, and my knee went POP. It happened in a second. I tore my ACL. I lay there on the flat bottom of the ramp trying to talk my leg out of its injury with sound logic and reason. My leg wasn’t having any of it. I was injured and there was only one thing to do – crawl like a wounded prey out of the ramp while 13 year olds like hyaenas gathered at the edge of the ramp swearing that they would never be like me when they get really old.

While the injury and today’s surgery haven’t been all that fun (or cheap)…for me…it’s been worth it. Because I got hurt going big(ish)! I got hurt skateboarding at 40! I pushed my limits…and while my limits won…at least they got pushed! I tried something I hadn’t done for 9 years. And even though I came up short, I got further than my couch had ever taken me. While it didn’t look pretty, at least I wasn’t watching someone else go hard after their life, while I settled for mine at a safe distance.

Yes, getting hurt…hurts, but in my humble opinion, I’d rather get hurt going hard. I’d rather come up short going for it. I’d rather fail trying. Pain and Humiliation are where God has taught me some of my most invaluable lessons. There are few greater classrooms for growth than pain and humiliation. So, far as long as I can…I’ll keep showing up for class.


Have you gotten hurt going big recently? What happened? What did God teach you?

And if you haven’t had the privilege to learn from your limits lately, what’s stopping you?!? If it helps, my skateboard is in the garage. It’s yours until I get off these crutches!


  • Bryan Radtke says:

    Been there a few times. If multiple knee surgeries taught me anything its been perseverance, how awesome my family is and my reliance on God. Oh, and the need for a mini fridge within arms reach from the couch.

    Now its time for you to go hard on rehab. You need to own it. Go big on therapy and you’ll be riding that skateboard in no time.

  • Thanks Bryan.
    Good words!
    I think just about EVERY set back is both a reminder and opportunity for me to rely on God!
    Good call on the Mini Fridge! I believe that’s a word from God!

  • Laura says:

    I live with a degenerative chronic illness that’s trying to take away brain’s ability to control much of my body functions. So “going big” for me looks like actually getting in my car and attending church, instead of live-streaming from bed. Sounds pretty pathetic eh? Don’t worry… i think so too. I have big dreams of rehabbing enough to get my ice hockey defenseman gear back on! But I’m no where near there today. Today my challenges are with standing and walking and my body’s biggest limitation has to do with it’s no-longer-an-ability to manage my blood pressure enough to keep enough blood to my brain. Doesn’t sound big or exciting compared to your skate boarding situation… but I’ve spent most of the last 5 years in bed so it’s huge for me to be pushing by doing Physical Therapy with a PT that comes to my house, and actually getting up, standing long enough to get dressed and ready, driving to church, sitting for over an hour (my body cant handle standing for worship nor singing along, but i mouth the words), and then standing to return to my car and drive home afterwards.
    I agree that it is SUPER hard to push back on the boundaries that are trying to limit us as time marches on. I congratulate you on pushing your boundaries! And I agree, sometimes a torn ACL (in your case), or an ER trip and getting admitted to the hospital after blacking out (in my case) is totally worth pushing limits and trying to experience the most of this life God gives us!

  • Jenny B. says:

    Sorry to hear this happened to you, but admire your pursuit to see a lesson in the middle of this! After being bedridden from life-altering Lyme Disease for nearly two years, I can tell you there has been no “bigger” challenge in my life to overcome. It is in my most difficult and isolated times that The Lord has spoken to my heart and I am forever changed to my very depths. Praying for a speedy recovery for you.

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