If you cannot read this post in two minutes, consult your local reading specialist.

On February 5th, I woke up at 3:55 AM in agony.

It felt as if someone had kicked me in the crotch and refused to remove the foot.

Within three hours, I was at Seton Hospital about to go undergo surgery for testicular torsion. For all of you Phi Beta Kappa’s and verbal SAT champions, you know exactly what that means – my testicles were twisted (just typing this sentence makes me grimace).

While neither I nor the doctor could explain the root cause, one thing was clear: I needed to have surgery. The clock was ticking. After six hours, I would lose blood flow in the area of my body that I treasure the most.

By 7:30 AM, I was going under for surgery, and within two hours, I was gingerly walking out of the hospital. For the next ten days, I would spend the majority of my time confined to my bed. This is what I learned:

1. No One Should Will Value Your Time More Than You Do

My first order of business was canceling my meetings for the week. I sent a short note to my administrative associate asking her to reschedule meetings for the following week. Soon, I started to receive “end-arounds” from people trying to force me to meet with them. I typed “no” as diplomatically as I possibly could. Finally, I just started to type, “This meeting won’t happen until April. Look forward to seeing you then.” They countered with options. I typed “no” again. Finally, they stopped.

This was a valuable lesson for me. Don’t let other people force you to play cards that you don’t want to play. Take a breathe. Look at the ceiling. Keep it Moving (#KIM).


2.  Get Over Yourself

At first, I wondered how the world would go on without me. Here I was, lying on my back, staring at the ceiling for hours on end. I tried to do some work, but any movement felt as if a troll was shooting electrical currents into my core. After a day, I noticed something – the world was still spinning. My students were disappointed in class cancellations (or so they typed) but they moved on. My co-workers missed me but they moved on.


3.  Give Thanks

Gratitude is my word for 2016. I decided to put the word to practice as I lay motionless. Here’s the list that I came up with:

  1. A bed
  2. A ceiling fan to keep me dizzy
  3. An understanding wife who was willing to put up with a 37-year old whiner
  4. Time for a Netflix binge
  5. A daughter who was excited to use my recovery to hone her Doc McStuffins skills
  6. Spotify playlists
  7. Not having a TV in my bedroom

Three weeks later, I am alive and well, and gearing up to start running again. I have a 5K title to defend in a month.

But for now, I am going to take it easy and breathe in the positive vibes. I suggest you do the same.DKR Signature



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