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Scars

Wounds heal, but often leave a mark.

We like to think that whatever was broken becomes stronger than ever. Sometimes, this is true.

But sometimes it is not.

Life takes its toll. The years and the injuries add up. They are the price we pay for wisdom, if we are lucky. Or else we are like those boats in the Great Gatsby, “borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

I’m not here to tell you that scars are pretty or sexy or noble. Scars just are.

They tell a small tale, like a limp. You tell the greater one. The mark on your shin from that box jump gone horribly wrong? It will always be there, like the rope burn etched into your ankle from that day you wore shorts but decided to finish those rope climbs, even as the blood started to trickle. Was that a smart decision? Who is to say? It is done and the mark remains.

We have marks everywhere, seen and unseen, from the misses and the makes, the losses and the wins, in the gym and in the world, and in our hearts and souls. I can no more tell you what that scar on your leg really means to you any more than you can tell me about the bruises on my heart.

But don’t try to tell me that all is healed. It never is. You are changed. I am changed. And life goes on.

Scars don’t tell the story.They don’t even tell half the story. Scars are just a visible reminder that you had pain.

Did you use that pain as an excuse to fail again? Or to put the hurt on someone else? Did you point to the scar and say “It stings too much. I can’t do that”? Or maybe you just went with half a heart, scared to really commit to something that could crush you again. Or did you say “F*** it. Let’s roll” and throw yourself on the damn line again, pain and scars and all?

So, here’s to the ones throwing themselves on that line, standing tall and brave and true, scars and all, and not letting memory and fear hold them back. Scars never looked so beautiful.