Eugene Cho

thanking god for his intervention

Exactly two months ago today, I ruptured my right Achilles while playing basketball with some men at Quest.  The injury was painful but the emotional stuff was even more painful.  As a result, I officially announced my retirement and took off my mask [& goggles].

I didn’t know it at the time the injury took place but as I reflect on it now, I believe this was God intervening in my life – as He often does – to demonstrate His care, caution, love,  and guidance. Sometimes, in my hubris, I tend to think that God can’t do His work without my participation. And again, I am reminded that God doesn’t really need me. I don’t have to but I get to.  In addition, over the past few months but especially recently, I’ve been once again reminded how important it is to have the rhythm of Sabbath in one’s life. God created this rhythm not because He doesn’t like productivity but because He actually values both our doing and our being…

I don’t have one day where I am able to completely Sabbath with the schedule of three kids and my wife who is in grad school. But at least twice each week, I block out several hours where I will Sabbath. Disconnect from everything else and rest and rejoice before God.

As some of you know, I ruptured my left Achilles several years ago and had surgery and it has healed very well. After some prayer and discussion, I chose to go the path of natural healing with my right Achilles.  I would have preferred surgery but even with insurance, the bill would have been about $3k and well, tis the season to be frugal. Several friends offered to help but Minhee and I prayed and felt at peace. Plus, I wanted my body to be a gift to the sciences.

Well, two weeks ago, I took off my cast and started some careful and light walking. My doctor would not have approved but after reading numerous things on the internet, I chose the aggressive method.

It’s amazing how the a completely ruptured Achilles can reattach and heal itself. Even  more amazing is how the body can atrophy so quickly when it’s not being used. Even after 6 weeks in a cast, my right calf had atrophied dramatically which was one of the reasons why I chose to take off the cast and do some light walking and to slowly rebuild my calf muscles.  I have my doctor’s appointment next Tuesday and I’m praying my doctor will be stunned by how well my heel, Achilles, and calf muscles are doing and encourage me to pursue aggressive Physical Therapy.

The drawback of natural healing is the slightly higher percentage of re-rupture rates [5% vs. 15%] but I’m praying that with therapy, regular exercise, and healthy rhythms in my life, I can be up and running in a few months.

Maybe I’m crazy but I’m really thankful to be walking about. Yesterday, in celebration of 8 weeks post the injury, I picked up a basketball, limped around, and hit a few shots.  Maybe a comeback is in my future…

Thank you so much for your kind words, prayers, and for those who helped prepare meals for my family during the first couple weeks. Thank you for your love…

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9 Responses

  1. Eugene,
    Solid skills. I like the fact that you follow your shot. But that was a Kobe-esque performance of consitency. if you need a point guard, holla at ya boy!

  2. pert says:

    i won’t call it a comeback, you’ve been here for years.

  3. Erick says:

    nothing wrong with being a spot up shooter if the Achilles ever gives you trouble…and soon enough you’ll be tossing up alley-oops to your kids, team dime baby.

    also, don’t know if you’re much of a cyclist, but it’s obviously a great way to build up calf (and leg) muscle with low impact. I don’t really know if that’s okay to do with an Achilles injury, but maybe bike to work a couple days a week?

    Praying for continued healing.

  4. Joe says:

    Wow. That ankle & achilles looked nasty. Glad you are getting better.

  5. Jim Chen says:

    Happy to see you moving around so well, so soon. Nice shooting and smooth moving. You’ll be playing again in no time.

  6. Tony says:

    Nice vid. I was tempted to make some joke about you using computer tricks to doctor the video up but I’ve seen you play. You do have major skills! I appreciate your attitude about this. Lately I have struggled with taking things that cause me pain and looking at them as something positive and God-ordained. Inspirational stuff.

  7. Eugene Cho says:

    @ryan: i was a PG in high school but the quickness is no more.

    @pert: LL baby.

    @erick: steve kerr may be my new hero.

    @tony: i got many of those jokes today already. brother, you’ve gone through so much this past year. you and angela have inspired me more than you can know. thank you.

  8. your friend says:

    What an encouragement! God can use anything to let us learn a new lesson.

    I learned a lot through your example.

    One thing came to mind when I looked at you: When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Your inner strength got stronger through this and you keep going with GOD. I rejoice!

  9. Rich says:

    You skillz money! Definitely room for an Asian in the NBA. I’ll send em this vid. LOL

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One Day’s Wages

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People often ask, "How does one stand all that rain in Seattle?" Actually, it doesn't rain that much. I like the rain. Keeps everything "evergreen" and clean. Keeps our air fresh. What's challenging is the gray weather. Give me a few more sunny days. 99 more days to be specific. 
Regardless, still love this city. Checking out Canada in case I need to move up North after the presidential election. Just saying, eh.

Downtown Toronto. Fascinating architecture. Amazed by the diversity of this city. We desperately want our children to not just be captivated by the beauty of creation...but more importantly, to the actual Creator of all that is good and beautiful.

Actually, we want and need this truth for our souls, too. What a privilege. This isn't possible without all those who give, pray, and support the work of @onedayswages. This week, I signed and mailed grants to three partner organizations totaling over $170,000. These grants will empower people by supporting maternal health care, refugee relief efforts, access to clean water, provide education, etc.

Sometimes, the brokenness of the world feel so overwhelming but let's keep running the race with endurance. Let's keep pursuing justice, mercy, and humility. Let's be faithful and may we be spurred on to keep working for God's Kingdom...on earth as it is in heaven.

Again, thank you so much for your support for @onedayswages! My wife, Minhee, and I stand on the shoulders of praying mothers. I'd like to take a moment to honor my mother-in-law. It's hard to put words together to embody her life but she is a very special, anointed person. I'm so blessed to have her as a mother in my life.

She was a devoted wife until she lost her husband to cancer, mother to three daughters, and later became a pastor. She became a follower of Christ as an adult and as such, led her her family to Christ. In her late 50s, she obeyed God's calling to go to seminary and be a leader in the church. She graduated #1 in her class and reminded us that it's never too late to follow a new dream or calling.

As she'll soon celebrate her 80th birthday, I'm especially grateful for the ways that she poured into and prayed over Minhee and her other children.  Even though she's officially retired, I'm inspired that the concept of retirement is not in her vocabulary.  She continues to serve the local church, evangelize and bear witness to Christ, and goes to the early morning prayer meeting at 5am everyday to pray for our family, our church, and for others. 
Jangmonim, we love and honor you. 어머니, 사랑합니다.

Someday, I hope that when my kids speak of Minhee and I...above all, they would say with integrity that their parents prayed for them and kept pointing them to Christ. On this Mother's Day, I want to take a few words to honor mother.

There’s a moment from a few years ago that will stick with me until the day I die. It’s regarding Sung Wha, my mother.

Minhee and I were at a point of transition, between working at an ethnic Korean church in the northern suburbs of Seattle called Lynnwood and launching Quest in urban Seattle. As I shared earlier, I was in desperate need of a job. I had a mortgage to pay. A pregnant wife. A kid at home. 
Then, praise God, after months without work, I finally landed a job.

My mom was in between jobs at this point in her life. She was in her late fifties, but she had such bad knees and degenerative hips that it was, and is, difficult for her to walk. My mom is like a human barometer—when a storm is coming and when it rains, her hips throb. Although my parents lived in San Francisco, she was visiting us in Seattle to encourage us in this difficult season.

As I prepared to go to work one early morning, I walked downstairs to put on my jacket and shoes, and forgot that my mother woke up early every morning to pray. In fact, she had been praying for months that I would find a job. “Eugene, where are you going?” she said when she saw me.

I hadn’t told my mother the news that I had just recently been hired for the janitorial gig at Barnes and Noble. I chose not to because I thought she and my father would be devastated. I didn’t want them to think that after laboring, sacrificing, and doing so much for us over all those years that their son had failed them.

But I couldn’t lie to her, so eventually I told my mom that I got a job and was going to work. “Great! What job? What are you doing?” “Um, I’m working at Barnes and Noble as their custodian,” I said finally.

Without asking another question, my mother got up from the dining table where she had been reading her Bible and praying. She slowly walked slowly toward me.

She approached me, then walked past me without saying a word, and I realized she was headed toward the closet. She opened the closet door, put on her jacket, turned around and said to me (in Korean), “Eugene, let’s go together. I will help you.” This is my mother.

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