Eugene Cho

celebrating a year of weakness…

In nearly 40 years of life, the most physical pain I have experienced was rupturing my Achilles tendon muscles – and that happened twice – to both tendons. A year ago this week, I ruptured my right Achilles and announced my retirement and I took off my mask.

Beyond the physical pain (and trust me, its painful), the ruptured Achilles symbolized an incredibly difficult year – the toughest in my year thus far. So, marking this past year, has been significant for me.

I know that none of my blog readers are celebrating. Even my wife and kids had no idea but this past week was a time of much reflection, prayer, and hope.

Yesterday after church, I shot some hoops in the back yard with my kids and tested my Achilles again and then did something I haven’t done in over a year: I went hiking (an hour trek). It wasn’t long and arduous but it again tested my Achilles and I’m still in one piece.

Why is this a big deal?

It’s been a tough year in many ways but I survived. I made it. I toughed it out. I persevered. I wrestled. And I am thankful for my family, friends, community, and most of all, God’s grace in the midst of all this…

And that, is worth celebrating…

I hope that you’ll never ever have to ask me for advice or for my experience but just in case:

  • Exercise regularly. 84% of ruptured Achilles happen to men between 30-40 who still think they are in their 20s.
  • Exercise regularly, stretch regularly, and cool down regularly.
  • I chose surgery for my left and natural healing for my right. I choose the latter for my right for financial reasons (since it’s FREE!) but if I needed to choose (in hindsight) and all things were equal, I’d go with surgery. Naturally, I prefer natural procedures rather than an incision into my body but I can tell the difference.
  • My right Achilles is still experiencing some pain and even though it’s been a year, it takes me about 5-10 minutes to walk off the pain. I’m wondering if it might be like this for the remainder of my life. The re-rupture rate is also slightly higher: 3-5% vs 8-15%
  • As for the advice about picking up different sports…you got to go for your passion and mine are Basketball, Volleyball, Hiking, and Baseball.

But be careful…

Well, here’s my video tryout for the Miami Heat. It still hurts a little. I can’t jump as high, move as quick, and the handle and shooting are all off. It might be time to buy those Kurt Rambis glasses and revamp my game as a soon to be 40 year old warrior.

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5 Responses

  1. Ben from TIC says:

    Regular exercise is crucial. I would also add a variety of exercise. I exercise for strength and health, and interestingly enough, the more I exercise the more I’m able to enjoy the sports I play. It’s no fun for me playing ultimate Frisbee when I can’t run my hardest and jump my highest to catch that thing! The grace of God through exercise ensures that I can have a good time and a clear conscience knowing that I played my best and my lack of strength and exercise didn’t hold me back.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Eugene Cho, Christian Ray Flores. Christian Ray Flores said: check this out In nearly 40 years of life, the most physical pain I have experienced was rupturing my… http://bit.ly/bv3mKZ by Eugene Cho […]

  3. mo says:

    Glad to head you’re recovering man. Good advice about stretching. I always skip that part, but now that I just passed my 30th birthday, I need to pay more attention.

    • Eugene Cho says:

      I never stretch. Ironically, the first time I ruptured my Achilles…I had this weird feeling and stretched alot and later that night, popped the Achilles.

      I think the key is regular exercise and regular stretching.

  4. Josue Diaz says:

    Excellent post! I know what you mean to go through this injury. I ruptured mine over a year ago (May 2nd, 2009) playing basketball and it’s been an incredible road back. I wasn’t a very patient person before, but that has since changed. 🙂

    You definitely learn alot about yourself, your family/friends, faith and many aspects of life that you may have previously taken for granted.

    Your case is certainly different since two ruptures is even more incredible to come back from. WOW!

    I agree w/you on regularly exercising. I suppose I considered myself a “weekend warrior” when my injury occurred. I’m much more diligent now and don’t think the NBA scouts were looking at me anyway. 🙂

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One Day’s Wages

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Window seat. For the win. As leaders, we must not see ministry and family as competing commitments.  We must not sacrifice our marriage and kids for the sake of "ministry." How can we? Loving our families IS ministry & good leadership.

And on a side note, we took this goofy photo for Mother's Day last Sunday at @seattlequest. I was shocked! What in the world happened to our kids? Our 13 year old son blocked four of my shots on the basketball court yesterday. He's since been grounded... I fear that we ask God to move mountains, forgetting that God also wants to move us.

In fact, it's possible that we are that mountain. Time flies. The eldest is wrapping up her 1st year in college and the college tours have begun for the 2nd child. The youngest enters high school in the Fall. Can't say enough about how proud Minhee and I are of the kids - not just of their accomplishments but the people they are and are becoming.

But...man...we can't wait to party it up when we're emptynesters. Party at our house. It's going to be epic. Humbled. Grateful. Mindful of God's grace and faithfulness in my life. It's all grace... It's an unexpected honor to be invited back - even with some mini-drama - to @princetonseminary to receive the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award - exactly 25 years after starting my journey there as a student in 1992. Wow.

Princeton isn't necessarily for everyone. And to say that I loved everything about my experience would be misleading but it was very formative. Ir challenged me to examine why I believed in what I believed. It reminded me that God could handle my questions. It prepared me for a post-Christian context where I am not entitled to be heard but I had to earn the right to be heard, and of course, it taught me that all is good with a Philly cheese steak at Hoagie Haven.

No one is an island to themselves and I am certainly an example of that. Many people - women and men, young and old, and of many backgrounds - prayed, encouraged, mentored, and loved me along the way. Grateful for my professors at seminary, my many classmates, and the numerous fellow staff and co-laborers I've had the privilege of serving Christ with past and present. And of course, I'm forever inspired by my parents, my children, and my wife, Minhee. Thank you for your faith, hope, and love...and oh, for your patience. Only your family will know and see both the best and worst of you. They've seen my worst...and keep on believing in me.

Thank you again, PTS and President Barnes, for this honor. Then, today, and tomorrow...by God's grace, just striving to be faithful to my Lord and Savior...to preach and live out the convictions of the whole Gospel. Amen. So humbled and grateful to be with @catalystleader in Cincinnati to encourage leaders from all around the country about the invitation to Uncommon Fellowship.

Preached from John 4. We can talk, preach, sing, philsophize, liturgize, and spit rhymes about Samaria...but we still have to talk through Samaria.

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