Jack Itzinger

Throughout my life, I have always been accident prone. Ever since I was little, it always seemed like I was in a cast while the rest of my family has never broken a bone. My earliest childhood memory is of fracturing my skull when I was four. All of this is because I had to have the dried mangos that my mom had put at the top of the pantry. When I was around 6, I broke my arm falling off a play structure in the park. Literally, a week later I slipped on the bathroom floor and broke my shoulder.

After that, the pace of my injuries became so rapid that I can no longer remember them distinctly. I have broken both my ankles. The right one four times and the left one three times. Things like simply stepping off the stairs in an odd way have led me to these injuries. On a separate occasion, during PE, another student ran into my foot leading to another break. I fell 15 feet from the second floor of my house to the first floor, breaking my jaw, biting clean through my lip and fracturing my spine. I have always found all the pain I had to go through completely unfair considering my brother, sister and my parents have never broken a single bone in their entire life.
I crushed my hand in between the foot swings on the first day of P.E. in 6th grade. I remember going in and out of consciousness because there was so much blood as I stumbled to the office. Everyone in the office that day had the correct inclination to run away except Ms. Alcott who took care of me. And then there are the gashes, cuts, bruises, and burns like when I burned my foot with 400 degree sugar.

At first it was extremely difficult for me to adapt to being injured all the time. I would try to push through it, but as I injured myself over and over again I discovered that you have to give yourself time to heal and it is not something that can be rushed. Each and every one of these injuries has forced me to go through the slow and painful process of rehabilitation. I have learned that you have to adapt when dealing with adversity. Every injury has tested my resilience and forced me to compensate. I have learned to write with my left hand, step down from a curb in a practiced, almost rehearsed motion, walk down stairs with the utmost care, and, most importantly, know my limitations.

I have learned to stop myself before getting pushed too far. Now, I take a step back and assess each situation for danger. I am a lot more cautious and, as a result, I have avoided injury. I have also learned to laugh about my injuries and get amusement from them rather than be sad or discouraged. Overall, I have been able to appreciate life more because I have learned it can always be worse. It’s easy to take things for granted but as we all know from COVID 19, you never know how good you have it until something changes. So, as difficult as it may be, try to look for the silver lining in each situation.