What I learnt about Myself from the “Evil Chair” Episode


Some of you could ask, “What’s the big deal?”

My story started 14 months ago a freak accident with the “EVIL CHAIR”. Most office chairs have four legs, each with a castor; some have a ring on the legs for you to rest your feet when seated – like the evil chair. It was in my office. Thinking of something, I got up from my regular chair and unknowingly placed my left foot on the ring of the evil chair. My foot slipped into the triangle between the ring and two castor legs. With my weight on the chair, it rolled away! My body did not want to go along for the ride, but… my foot was caught in the evil chair’s triangle. I fell back, tore my ligaments, fractured my fibula (long side bone below the knee), ended up in the Emergency Room, and had two surgeries to repair my leg. They put two screws to hold the bones together.

I was off my feet and confined to a wheelchair and knee scooter for months. Feeling helpless, and needing other people’s help for even little things was a terrible feeling… and, I did not like people feeling sorry for me.

I pushed hard to recover quickly – the Jersey winter didn’t help. I had 53 physical therapy sessions until the insurance company said, “No more!” In my eagerness to recover, I broke one of my screws which is now permanently lodged inside my tibia (the long front bone below the knee). My orthopedic surgeon calls me “the bionic man”.

The recovery was long and arduous. Simple things like going to the bathroom and shopping became adventures. Many friends called, one (Garima Raheja) stocked my fridge with a month of groceries, many brought hot food and necessities (Priya Jain), others dropped by for a chat, took me out for drives, and more. My daughter Anushka Iyer was a source of constant encouragement, and my mother the voice of constant caution, “Don’t overdo it”!

2 weeks ago, my biking buddy (JJ Kapoor, MBA PMP SAFe SPC4 ITIL SSBB) and I biked along the Delaware River from Trenton to New Hope, PA – a 35-mile RT on a gravel canal towpath – my longest single-day ride. We’ve done 25-mile and 30-mile rides as well this year. Next weekend, it’ll be a 20-mile bike ride along the beaches of the Jersey shore.

Over the last 7 days, I have ridden 64 miles on my bicycle!

The joy of being back on the saddle, and having people admire my resilience, grit and persistence, rather than pity me, feels… GOOD. I’m grateful for friends, community, and my little tribe who encouraged me to recovery.

A few years ago, MONEY mag (Josh Hyatt) called me “THE COMEBACK KID” for repeatedly reinventing myself. I just proved it to myself AGAIN.



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