I know it sounds sick, but I look forward to injuries. I look forward to being home and getting time to read and write.
Broken foot? Read three novels and a story collection.
Torn tendon? Write a hundred pages.
And as far as climbing goes, to quote my-only-friend-in-the-entire-world-Jeff-Hess, “Injuries help you focus on what you can do, on what you can use.”
Last year, I took his advice and figured out how to lead 5.10a trad at The Columns with a cast on my left leg.
But my current injury isn’t conducive to anything. I fell bouldering last Thursday, not too far, but seven feet down on my neck and head. So I have a sprained neck and a concussion (my third significant concussion), and I’m supposed to do nothing. Nothing at all. No climbing, biking, soccer, rugby, reading, television watching, sitting in the light, etc.
Wait, “hell” is a cliche.
Try again. For me, doing nothing is like spending an hour trying to tape myself into a cardboard box. The box is too small. The tape lacks quality adhesive. I’m supposed to get inside, tape the seam above me, and stay in there.
So I’ve figured out an activity that only takes 10 minutes at a time (the length I can do something without exacerbating my headache): Writing submissions.
Send one story. Wait an hour. Send another story.
Yesterday, I sent 10 (I know. I count everything). My all-time record for a single day.
In the last three days, I’ve sent 20 submissions. Everywhere from Mud Luscious Press and Agni to The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine.
Hopefully I’ll make ten more today. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll come out of this head injury with a few stories sold and thirty new rejections.