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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