In January 2010, I tore the ACL in my left knee playing soccer with a bunch of men in a gymnasium. I had played soccer as a child and through high school, and after a twenty year hiatus, started playing in a women’s league the previous fall. In order to stay “close the game” that first winter, I signed up with my local P&R to play on Sunday mornings.
When I heard the “POP” (if this has happened to you, you are woefully familiar with how that POP can be heard from inside your body), I knew I had done serious damage. I also knew that I would have it surgically repaired. Six weeks later, I underwent surgery. The post-operative pain was worse than unmedicated childbirth.
So in June of 2011–when against my surgeon’s predictions that it was “highly unlikely” that I would tear the other ACL were I to continue playing soccer–I proved him wrong, hung up my cleats, and took up yoga.
Over the last five years, I have increased my commitment to my practice, topping out–currently–at six times a week.
Yesterday’s practice was especially good as much for the time on my mat as for the relaxed mind I achieved thereafter.
(drum roll, please)
Because while winding down from that hour and a half in 100 degree heat, I figured out how to end my novel.
Accidental Gravitas has an ending.
And get this: an ending that I like.
There are writers who plot and outline their entire story before setting down to the task of writing. I am not one of those. This, in and of itself, surprises me. I like a plan. I like lists. I like knowing what to expect. Except when it comes to writing. I like not knowing what’s going to happen next. Maybe it makes the story more exciting for me not to know, or maybe it allows me to be so focused on the day’s writing that I am unable to spend any mental energy on the “story down the road.”
With all of my stories, thus far, I have gotten to roughly the 95% mark before the last few scenes unfold in my mind. And yesterday, without any expectation, my quiet mind brought those forward.
So thank you, torn ACL in my right knee. Without you, I never would have started practicing yoga; without yoga, my mind wouldn’t have permitted to find solitude; without solitude, I would have not been able to pull the threads together to braid together the ending of AG.
I’m at 95K words. I’m estimating another 10K.
It’s 4:41 AM and I’m off to write.