2016, community, humanity, pain, public transportation, San Francisco, soccer, sports injury

It’s Hard Out There With A Limp

Whether we can see it or not, everyone has pain.

Commuting in a city like San Francisco is not easy. Either you’re late or the bus is, or both. On the bus, you’re packed like a sardine next to someone whose music you can hear through their headphones through your headphones.

After a recent knee surgery, I dreaded the idea of commuting. Sporting a full-leg brace, I was barely able to move. How would I get a person’s attention to ask for a seat? How would I navigate through the masses? How would I stand up and exit before the doors close?

When I finally tried it, I was surprised to find that people pull out all the stops — at all the stops — when they see someone in need. They go out of their way to lend a hand, ear, or shoulder. My visible pain was met with sympathetic glances and in many cases, real conversation. Therapy, almost.

People asked me what happened, how I was coping, and how I was recovering. And then they shared. They shared their own personal stories of pain, coping, and recovery.

Pain, whether physical or emotional, unites us all.

 

Middle-Aged Woman, Nourish Cafe, Sept 2, 2016

Middle-Aged Woman, Nourish Cafe, Sept 2, 2016

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Safeway Employee, Market Street, Sept 6, 2016

Safeway Employee, Market Street, Sept 6, 2016

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Backpacker, Duboce Triangle, Sept 11, 2016

Backpacker, Duboce Triangle, Sept 11, 2016

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Lady with a short bob, Metro MUNI, Sept 14, 2016

Lady with a short bob, Metro MUNI, Sept 14, 2016

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War Veteran, Metro MUNI, September 15, 2016

War Veteran, Metro MUNI, September 15, 2016

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Young lady rushing down Metro steps, Montgomery Station, Sept 15, 2016

Young lady rushing down Metro steps, Montgomery Station, Sept 15, 2016

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Schoolboy with mom, Mission, Sept 20, 2016

Schoolboy with mom, Mission, Sept 20, 2016

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STEM-Happy Man, Metro MUNI, Sept 21, 2016

STEM-Happy Man, Metro MUNI, Sept 21, 2016

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UPS Delivery Man, My doorstep, Sept 22, 2016

UPS Delivery Man, My doorstep, Sept 22, 2016

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Woman with beanie, Metro MUNI, Sept 23, 2016

Woman with beanie, Metro MUNI, Sept 23, 2016

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Man who needs ‘ANY HELP,’ Montgomery BART, Sept 26, 2016

Man who needs ‘ANY HELP,’ Montgomery BART, Sept 26, 2016

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The next time you go outside, know that no matter what’s going on in your heart, mind, or body, you are not alone. If you see someone in need, challenge yourself to connect with her. You may be surprised at what you receive in return. We might call them strangers, but they aren’t that strange at all. We are all in fact, one and the same.

 

 

Originally published on Medium.

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