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.

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  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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Collaboration.

col·lab·o·ra·tion
kəˌlabəˈrāSH(ə)n/
noun

the action of working with someone or a group of others  to produce or create something.

May we hold our logos, egos, and tribalism have their place. May we hold them loosely for they too shall pass. May we collaborate for the sake of the greater Kingdom of God ... which endures forever. As we honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., don't forget the God behind the man. The one true God who deposited this dream into MLK is still speaking to us today. Are we listening?

Be courageous. Be brave.

Being invited by the King Family to speak at the MLK worship service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in 2016 remains one of the most unexpected honors of my life. On the right is his daughter, Dr. Bernice King and his sister, Dr. Christine King Farris. Walking throughstreet markets in different parts of the world is the best. Soaking in the culture. Listening to the local language and music. Enjoying the amazing cuisine. Meeting new friends. Praying for the Gospel to penetrate. #ChiangRai Blessed be the local, indigenous leaders for it is they who live in the very communities they seek to love. For it is they who understand their context and culture...better than a Westerner ever will. For it is they who will continue to tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love when visitors like me leave.

Yes, blessed be the local, indigenous leaders. What an honor and privilege to celebrate with the on-the-ground local @thefreedomstory team to celebrate the recent opening of their Education and Resource Center for the local youth in Chiang Rai, Thailanf. This was made possible through a partnership and matching grant by @onedayswages and The Freedom Story.

While it was an honor to be there to cut the cord and say a few words, this is an example of collaboration. Much love to the Freedom Story team including their co-founders Tawee Donchai and @Rachel Goble, to their staff who live in the community, who understand their context and culture, and who tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love. And of course, much love to the students themselves for they each matter. Finally, to each person that donated to @onedayswages to make this grant possible.

May hundreds and even thousands of youth be impacted, encouraged, and mentored. May they capture a glimpse of God's love for them.

Photo: @benjaminedwards Part 2 on my wrestling with the complex issue of human trafficking. In part, documenting my trip to Thailand for @onedayswages...to listen, learn, and visit one of our partner orgs @thefreedomstory. More to come.

There's such painful and poignant irony in pursuing justice...unjustly. One way we do this is when we reduce people into projects...and thus, propagating the dangerous power dynamic of US as heroes and THEM as helpless and exclusively as victims. So dangerous.

Human trafficking is not just an issue. It’s ultimately, about people. Depending on the sources of statistics, there are anywhere from 29-40 million people in some form of forced labor and slavery, including sex trafficking.

And one thing I’ve learned, personally, is how easy it is easy to reduce people into projects which is why mutuality, reciprocity, and dignity are so vital. These are critical because God never intended people to be reduced into projects.

We forget this and we indirectly foster a culture and system of victimization or worse, the pornification of the poor or in this case, "the trafficked." And when you start dehumanizing the poor or trafficked, you have no genuine desire to build relationships with them. You believe or build stereotypes in broad strokes, singular, black and white narratives that have been told about them. You believe the lie that they have nothing to teach us and are incapable of contributing to the larger society.

Lord, break our hearts for the things that break your heart. Give us eyes to see others through your eyes. Give us humility so that we acknowledge our own need to learn and grow. (Photo via @thefreedomstory)

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