Photo credit: y Jeff Kubina
When I first saw the title of this guest post by Greg at Live Fit Blog, I anticipated a pep talk on how to get back on track with healthy eating after scarfing too many cupcakes or cheeseburgers or something. Turns out, he had a different a whole different "point" to make! (And note: Cranky Fitness is aware that the term "sword swallowing" may have other connotations, but let's take the high road here, shall we?)
Do you ever find yourself justifying your actions? You started off with good intentions, but somewhere along the way, things took a left turn. Maybe something good comes out of it, but before you know it, you're justifying your actions. Perhaps you would have been better off to cut your losses and walk away.
Many people have made sacrifices to improve our understanding of medical science. A review of Wikipedia's History of Medicine covers the advancement of medicine in many areas of the world. There you can find mention of figures such as Hippocrates, Galen, and Avicenna. These people, and others, have suffered for their passion.
Then, there are the sword swallowers...
Believe it or not, there is a Sword Swallowers Association. The website describes their purpose as being dedicated to the networking of sword swallowers around the world, both professional and amateur. In a recent press release, the president of their organization declared February 28th International Sword Swallowers Awareness Day. Both there, and at their public site, they extol the virtues of their art, discussing among other things, the great contributions of sword swallowers to our understanding of medical science.
This, my friends, is what we call justifying. According to their site, sword swallowing originated in India around 4000 years ago. Among other things, they credit the first endoscopic exam as the result of a chance encounter between a German surgeon and a sword swallower. Perhaps that's true. Today however, there are only a few dozen remaining practitioners. Big shock there, right? If you go to their site, one of the most prominent things you will see is a big disclaimer. I wonder why? For that matter, I would be interested in hearing what differentiates an amateur sword swallower from a professional. smile_sarcastic Seriously! I always thought the whole sword swallowing thing was a hoax!
By their own admission, there are between 4 and 6 reported serious injuries that result from this practice each year, with many more unreported. When there are only a few dozen practitioners, that's not very good odds. Assuming that an injury doesn't result in death, they further state that treatment for such an injury costs between $23,000 and $76,000. I can't fathom what would make someone take up this trade. Talk about suffering for you art.
Have you ever found yourself wondering how you ended up where you are in life? I think (or hope) most of us would look at this story and wonder why the heck someone would decide to stick a sword down their gullet. Then again, most of the time I can't figure out my own motivations, much less understand the motivations of others. But sometimes, just maybe, its worth stepping back and taking a long, hard look at your choices. Bounce them off someone you know and trust. Then, decide if its time to cut your losses.