5 things I learned from getting hit by a car

Author: Dr. Michelle Durkin on 2 November 2021

Talk about a surreal experience. One minute I'm riding my bike home for lunch. The next minute I'm in the ambulance with a C-collar on going to the hospital. 

Luckily, I am here to tell the tale. 

And since I'm a writer at heart I had to put down on paper what I learned from this experience. Because by writing it down, maybe, it will help someone else. 

1. Helmets save lives

If I had not been wearing my helmet the results could have be catastrophic. It's such a simple thing, but it makes all the difference in the world if you don't  follow through. 

So often we can rush through life and ignore the simple, basic actions that keep us healthy and alive. 

Slow down.

Stop being so busy that you can't attend to the basics.

2. It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when, and you're going to need help

You never think it's going to happen to you...until it does. 

This could be any emergency. An accident, a change in your financial situation, a health crisis. 

None of us are going to get through life without having to deal with something. And none of us will be able to navigate a crisis successfully without help. 

A support network is key. 

You need people in your life that you can lean on. You need to be OK with letting people help you. 

I am very grateful for the number of people who came to my aid, checked in on me, sent me a message, brought me food, gave me a hug, held my hand at the accident scene, sent me flowers, made sure my belongings got back to my office, took care of my bike, rescheduled my patients, keep the office running smooth, etc. My family, my friends, my staff, my patients, and even strangers. 

3. Control is an illusion

You can do all the right things and still have bad things happen. This idea that we can control everything that happens in our life is an illusion. 

Life can change in a blink of an eye and you have no control.

I even slowed down to see if the driver saw me. I thought she did. I was wrong. 

Life can be analogous to surfing. You cannot control the ocean. It is much more powerful than you. You can be smart and pick optimal weather for surfing. You can have the right equipment. You can be as strong and healthy  as possible when you get on that board. You can practice. But to really be able to ride the wave, you have to be able to give up control. 

4. Never underestimate the power of preparation

I know without a doubt my baseline health is what allowed me to walk away from my accident with only scrapes and bruises. No broken bones, no internal bleeding, no concussion. Superficial injuries. 

It was the twenty years of eating healthy 80-90% of the time. 

It was the lifetime of being active and the two years of personal training focusing on my core strength. 

It was the continuous choice to value sleep over work, or Netflix, or some other distraction activity. 

It was all the small, seemingly insignificant, boring choices on a consistent basis that created my baseline health, influenced the outcome of my accident in a positive direction instead of a negative one, and allowed me to heal very quickly.

Did you know most of the cells in your body are replaced by new ones within a seven year time frame? 

If your baseline health is not where you want it to be, this is your warning. You have seven years to change it. 

5. Choose joy

We never know when our time is up. 

My accident has reinforced the intention that I set at my birthday this year - Be not afraid, choose joy!

Don't wait for things to get easier, simpler, better. Life will always be complicated. Learn how to be happy right now. Otherwise you'll run out of time. 

Now I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below and share this post with anyone you feel might benefit. I'll be back next week with another edition of Doctor as Teacher Tuesday!

8 Replies to “5 things I learned from getting hit by a car”

Sandra Hazlett

What a shock to hear that you were in an accident. I am so glad that you are all right. I have found that major incidents in my life have influenced my lifestyle. It is a continual process. Thank you for sharing.

Dr Michelle Durkin ND

You’re welcome Sandra!


So true, unfortunately too many learn when it is too late ! Glad you are well again.

Dr Michelle Durkin ND

Thanks Anna!

Brenda Bryson

Michelle, thank you for sharing this with us. I too did not realize you had been in an accident. I am grateful that you had the outcome you did and have shared these reflections with us. Here’s to good health!

Dr Michelle Durkin ND

Thanks Brenda! Yes, cheers to good health 🙂

Pauline Roswell

I was sorry to hear about your accident, but encouraged to know that the choices we make can make such a difference in our recovery. When I was an active patient of yours you taught me so much that I have put into practice. I am indebted to you.

Dr Michelle Durkin ND

Thank-you Pauline! So glad that you learned a lot that you are still implementing today.

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