WHEN LIFE HITS YOU HARD YOU STAND BACK UP

Updated: Jun 6, 2019

Very soon I'll be heading in for knee surgery on a, "Grade Three medial meniscus tear". Not the worst type of knee injury as far as severity goes, but still it's going to keep me from training and demonstrating #BJJ and #MMA for a few months.

I was thinking back to some hurdles I've overcome in my life, many injuries from contact sports, such as #martialarts, Rugby Leauge and motorcycles.


So I feel this story below is very fitting for how powerful human motivation and growth can be when overcoming life's little challenges.

Dave Johnson 5yrs of age after nearly loosing his FOOT

One of my earliest of childhood memories


Its 1983, my family and I lived in Riverstone. That's in the Western suburbs of Sydney. I liked the street we lived on. It had two hills at either end, like a bowl, a stretched out V shape. Our house was at one end half way up the hill. At the top of the other hill I had a couple of buddies. There was a huge park that start at the bottom of the other hill and went half way up. We loved it there and was our stomping ground for fun and games.

I remember the day we rode our push bikes down the grass hill at the park. We'd racked the freshly mowed grass into a huge pile like a big haystack. My little buddies and I put a plank of wood and a crate in front of the grass. We were only little so it was like a mountain to us. The hill was a steep grate so it was scary and we could get a bit of speed up. It was scary. I went 3rd and I saw how the other boys hit the dodgy set up. They both landed half on the bike and hurt themselves a little. I rolled down the hill peddling only a few times, I rolled up the ramp and the bike flew only a tiny bit. I'd let go of the bike and somersaulted over the handlebars and landed comfortably on the mountain of grass. My buddies cheered and set off to also somersault over the bike for a comfy landing.

Not so long after I'd started school. I was close to being 5 and my buddies and I would catch the bus from the top of the hill at my end of the street.


A major event was about to happen to me that would impact my life in a monumental way.

So one day one of my buddies and I were catching the bus home. It stopped at the top of my hill roughly 150 meters from my home. We jumped off, I walked around behind the back of the bus, it hadn't pulled away yet. Not checking properly before I stepped out from behind the bus, a car coming from the opposite way clipped me. All I then remember is laying back propped up by my backpack. My mate ran to my place quick to get help. I looked down a my leg and my foot was dangling as a tried to move. My shin had been severed, cut in half. Both bones broken and the only thing keeping it attached was two inches of meat at the back calf muscles.

Stand Up #BJJ #BlackBelt #Davidjohnson

My mum turned up and ambulance arrived. They covered it up in a seal bag. I don't remember to much other than that. Mum tells me I didn't even cry, she just said I was in shock and kept saying "I'm sorry, I'm sorry". I will never forget how hard it was to not play with my buddies at the park for the next 6 weeks. Wearing that damn plaster cast was torture. The worst part was how itchy and horribly stinky it got. I also remember the doctor using this scary spinning saw, like a thin grinder to cut the plaster cast off. Now I was shitting myself lol.

The feeling walking down the street with the cast off, still with crutches. I had shorts on and a horrific scar across the bottom of my leg. But I'll never forget the feeling of the air on my skin and the sensation of it after it had been trapped inside an uncomfortable plaster cast. I remember looking down and being happy to still have my foot. My parents tell me that 6 weeks after I got my cast off I went in my schools cross country race. I came third in my year. My parents say nearly losing my foot changed me forever. I was always a happy young kid but she says it lit a spark inside me. It gave me gratitude, a fundamental process gained through trauma and suffering. I had an accident, completely my own silly fault, learning a valuable lesson and also grown in a process of alchemy.

Now the person that clipped me was a seventeen year old boy having a driving lesson. I still to this day think about him. I think whether he felt bad about the accident. I would always hope that he wasn't too traumatised by the experience and wondered if he still got his license.


Back to 2019 and having another little injury provides me with a great opportunity to become an even better coach and instructor focusing on my students. Staying fit, strong and being a good role model to those who look up to me, this gives me drive and motivation.


There are no excuses or feeling sorry for yourself.


"Never take these things as setbacks,

stress or suffering in the circumstances.

See it as an opportunity for growth"



David Johnson


It helps being surrounded by a good network of friends and family too

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