The Blessing of a Broken Foot?

broken foot blessing?


In Wendy Mogel’s book The Blessing of a Skinned Knee, she postulates that skinned knees, like other childhood rites of passage are not only OK, but are also healthy and positive experiences for a child to have in order to learn resilience and grow into an adult who can tolerate the emotional ups and downs of life. These are sagacious thoughts that make helicopter moms all over the world even just a little bit more anxious.


As an adult, however, when injured, one wonders, “Where is the lesson? What good is there to receive from this experience? What could I possibly learn from the pain and inconvenience? “


Four weeks ago, I was rushing to grab my daughter’s bathing suit from her drawer upstairs, which she had forgotten that morning. Purse in one hand, huge bag of popcorn in the other (God forbid I forget a snack on the way to swim practice), I raced to get it all done and still pick up the kiddos in time. In my panic and rush, I slipped on a step and tumbled down the full flight of stairs breaking my foot and ankle landing in a mess of popcorn. Of course my first thought was, “Crap, now I’m going to have to pick up all this popcorn.”


I remember heading down the stairs into the kitchen (crawling maybe?) in shock – shaking, nauseous and with chills not knowing the extent of the damage. It was only when I realized that I couldn’t bear weight on my left foot, that I knew it was more serious. Again, my first thought was of a workshop I was to give that evening, just two hours later. I texted my friend to borrow her crutches, which she had from a recent foot surgery, so I could still give the talk. Seriously? That talk was my priority? Next, I called my babysitter who agreed to come over and pick up the kids for me. And finally, with prodding and strong-arming, my friend came over with crutches in hand and “forced” me to go to the ER with her.


In my disarray and shock, not knowing the full extent of the accident, I wondered how I would continue my business, which was starting to thrive, and how I would take care of my three children and myself at the same time. I also panicked that I would not be able to exercise for who knows how long. I texted my trainer hoping for advice as to how to exercise with a broken foot only to get a text back saying “Be patient and learn from your experience. Suffering is our Greatest Teacher” I basically wanted to practice a kickboxing class on him with my new boot after hearing that.   Again, what could I possibly learn from this?


It wasn’t until a few weeks into the healing process that I finally figured out what the lesson is. It’s the very thing that I coach my clients to do all the time. SLOW DOWN! Be more mindful. Don’t try to “do it all.” No matter how much you want to do so. I’m not going to lie, these past four weeks have been excruciating at times – hobbling to get places, having less energy and lugging a boot around with me wherever I go has been annoying at best, painful at worst. But I have slowed down. My community, friends and family have chipped in. I am still in business and my kids are fed. It’s OK not to exercise for a few weeks and truly let my body heal. It’s actually been nice having the extra time to myself and not at the gym!


Just as children, our hurts, wounds and boo-boos give us the armor and immunity to thrive as adults and soldier on through tough times – the lessons continue when these wounds happen as adults. How we respond to an incident like this rather than react to it can make all the difference in how you perceive it, and deal with it.


I am choosing to learn from this experience rather than feel sorry for myself or play victim.   I marvel at the fact that I wasn’t hurt much worse and so grateful that I can still drive (since it’s my left foot.) I will heal and life will go on.


I’m allowing myself to accept generosity, love, food, carpool offers and company from others which for many, including myself, is often hard to do in a “go it alone’ type of culture we live in. There are many gifts to receive in the accepting of those gifts from others.


These lessons are not enough, of course, to wish broken feet upon anyone but learning has been done. Indeed, in the wise words of American Idol pop star Kelly Clarkson, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” And stronger I know I will be.


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12 thoughts on “The Blessing of a Broken Foot?

  1. Oh isn’t this how we women are? Angry at our bodies for not holding up so we can continue to do everything. I’m the same way!

    I’m so glad you learned this lesson. Just listening to your words almost made me relieved that you had the chance for a breather and also jealous, ha! Boy, that’s a lesson for me! We don’t need excuses to take a break, we should be doing it because we can… and should.

    1. jennyberk says:

      exactly Marianne!

  2. Jane Travis says:

    Ouch – sounds painful! And I can also feel your pain at accepting help, which I know can be hard, and despite me advising others to, I am not so good at taking my own advice! Hope your foot heals soon x

    1. jennyberk says:

      Thanks so much jane!

  3. I can sooo relate! I had both of my thumb joints replaced within four months of each other and had a year of rehabbing them afterwards. I truly believe that the Lord used this situation in order to get me to slow down and learn to ask for help!

    Awesome insight!

    1. jennyberk says:

      wow Terri, that must have been so hard! How did you write?

  4. Leah Miller says:

    Love this post!

    So easily done, and yet we still rush around, after our kids, our husbands and ourselves. You are spot on, we must learn to slow down, for our health and our sanity! x

    1. jennyberk says:

      Leah, Now if we could only learn how right??

  5. Ruth says:

    I can just imagine how hard that would have been. You sound like my kind of person, always trying to sort every other person out but myself.
    Hi Jenny,
    It’s a great lesson there. To slow down.
    Sometimes, we put ourselves under the pressure we complain constantly about.
    Thanks for sharing and hope you get back soon. So that slowing down becomes as option and not a necessity.

    1. jennyberk says:

      I love that quote Ruth “slowing down should be an option, not a necessity.” So true! Thanks!

  6. Dave says:

    Hi Jenny,

    I can relate to that feeling of needing to get things done despite a big setback! This really stood out for me:

    “I’m allowing myself to accept generosity, love, food, carpool offers and company from others ”

    I can see the beautiful gift in the situation from that quote. Not the most fun way to receive such a blessing, but that’s often how they come 🙂

    Hope you’re healing well.

    1. jennyberk says:

      Thanks so much Dave. I love the content you’re putting out there too by the way! 🙂

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