Coach Marla Beck
Writing Support

2 Lessons I Learned from Breaking My Shoulder

by Marla Beck

in brilliant writing career, brilliant writing life

You haven’t heard from me in awhile because, truthfully, it’s been challenging to type. I fractured my shoulder six weeks ago, while ice skating with my daughter. My injury is healing well, but wow… it did hurt.

A word about the ice skating…

Writing SupportSeems that I found a true, new passion a few months ago. I was looking for new ways to be active with my 12-year-old daughter, and she’d recently started skating lessons. Her teacher told me about Coffee Club – dedicated ice time and group lessons for adult ice skaters of all abilities. Despite an onslaught of practicality (tinged with ample fear), one Monday morning I drove to the rink and tried ice skating out myself.

I discovered a warm, supportive inspiring community on the ice. I met a genuine Senior Olympian! I met another mom who’d started skating when her daughter took lessons. I saw accomplished skaters who discovered the sport a decade ago (and today, skate with remarkable grace). One woman stopped me to tell me she’d just completed a difficult skating move… and she was 76-years-old and downright beaming. I watched as a former serious figure skater practiced her jumps, while her mom held her young baby up to watch her through the café glass. Over at the edge of the ice, I laughed and stumbled and learned with my fellow adult beginner classmates.

I continued showing up to Coffee Club each week, improving my skating skills and practicing what I teach about making time to deliberately, consistently nourish one’s passions. The schedule I created for myself – weekly ice time, plus a weekly singing date with a friend – plumped me up, soul-wise and productivity-wise. I’d found a way to balance social time, exercise and collaborative music-making. I refined my own code for happiness, energy and balance as a professional coach, a mom and an artist.

I improved quickly, as an ice skater. I started to get into better shape. I even bought my own skates. ☺

One afternoon I took my daughter for an after-school skate. At the end of that session I fell. A few days later, I learned I’d fractured the head of my long arm bone.

I’ve been reminded of 2 things from this experience, and I think you might find them helpful, too.

1 – Passion is a worthy pursuit.  

Whenever I’ve followed my passion, I’ve been led to wonderful experiences and people. I met my husband as I stepped offstage after singing and playing my guitar one night. I met a group of active, positive, inspiring adults while learning to ice skate on a Monday morning.  

As a coach and in my own life, I’ve noticed that it’s quite easy to shut down our heart’s impulses because they seem “illogical” or impractical. (“Who’s going to buy this book, if I write it?”  “Why invest my time in writing, if my success isn’t guaranteed?”)

If you want to live fully, happily and creatively, I urge you to let go of thinking you can predict your real ROI. Practice allowing a bit of illogical, impractical passion into your life. You’ll feel energized (and may even meet some interesting people). Your attention, focus and productivity will improve, too.

2 – Somebody else out there can relate.

My injury required me to learn how to navigate work, parenting and life with one arm in a sling. At first, I felt very challenged to keep functioning as I healed. (Did I also mention…it hurt?) What made things even harder for me was my own mind: I felt quite alone with my experience.

Then I heard about a “Humerus Fracture Support Group” on Facebook, open to anyone who’d fractured an arm or shoulder, like me. There, I discovered my injury could have been so much worse. I discovered I was absolutely normal for celebrating the first time I could apply my own deodorant (#goals). I celebrated others’ recoveries. I discovered how comforting it was to talk to, give and receive support from others who were learning to live their lives and heal this particular injury. I believe that part of the reason I found that community was because I am willing to believe that, even when it may seem that way, I am never alone, and someone else out there has had exactly the same experiences I’m walking through.  

As a coach, I know that if you are walking through life without writing support, it can be incredibly hard to sustain writing commitment, confidence and productive habits on your own. I have watched so many of my clients come alive, and produce – all because our work together provided them with an objective person and dedicated writing time, space and structure in their lives. It’s tremendously empowering to be share your journey with someone who understands and can encourage, advocate for and challenge you to realize your potential and your dreams.

To Be Continued…

I’ve been asked, “So? Are you going to get back on the ice?” At the moment, I am not sure if I will lace up my skates again after my arm has healed. I will say (and can say, now that I’m healing) that, no matter what happens, I do not regret my recent experiences.  

I hope my story of unapologetic passion and collaborative healing inspires you to embrace the wisdom and needs of your own heart. I hope you’ll allow yourself the support, structure and healing trajectory you need to regain any writing joy you’ve lost — so you can feel alive and focused again, and get busy building a writing career you’re deeply proud of.

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