That’s gonna leave a scar

When the pitcher dropped the ball, before picking it up and throwing to me, I knew the play at second base was going to be close. I prepped myself for the collision. The runner was much taller and bigger than me. What I wasn’t expecting was the runner sliding hard and his metal spikes coming up high in the air. His spikes connected with my right knee and ankle, and I crumpled to the ground in pain. 

I got the out, but the runner’s spikes ripped through my uniform pants and cut a bloody gash across my knee and a smaller gash on the knob of my ankle. When my coach ran out to check on me, he tried to cheer me up, by saying I’d have a scar. I didn’t like his joke, but he was right. I’ve had those two scars for most of my life. I took a close look at both the other night and I noticed that the scar on my knee has faded. The skin has smoothened and become softer over time. In fact, you probably wouldn’t even notice it now if you didn’t know that I had it. 

Body heal thyself 

The same thing has happened to a longer, deeper scar that I have underneath my right shoulder. Now, that one I earned not because of any athletic feat, or any great effort on my part, but because of college student stupidity. I would like to say I was simply following my friends, but I can’t blame them, I should have known better. 

I’ve written about the story in the past and it’s not one of my prouder moments, but the short story is that I was a sophomore or junior and got together with a couple of college friends at the start of the summer. We had a few beers and were trying to catch up with another friend who was having an apartment party. We were headed to the party when we decided to climb a fence instead of walking around to the front of his apartment complex. I should explain, the fence was no ordinary fence. I seem to recall the fence looking like a prison-like fence with concertina wire. I can’t really believe the apartment would have that kind of fence, but either way, the smart move would have been to walk around to the front.

The story gets better. My friends were wearing sneakers and jeans. You ask about me. How was I dressed? I tried to climb the damn fence wearing a baggy t-shirt and shorts and boat shoes. Yea, lots of grip right there! 

Yes, I said it was a stupid move. Let me repeat again, not one of my finest moments.

Of course, my friends jumped over no problems. I came down with a lengthy list of bloody cuts and bruises and since I didn’t go immediately to the Emergency Room, I ended up with several scars, including a large one underneath my arm. I’m a grown ass man and I’m still trying to live that one down. 

From failure comes growth

In any event, I’ve been thinking about those two scars and many others that we accumulate in a lifetime. A scar is the body’s natural way of healing and replacing lost or damaged skin. From a pure medical standpoint, scars form when the dermis or a deep, thick layer of skin is damaged. The body forms new collagen fibers to mend the damage, resulting in a scar. 

Yes, yes, all very helpful, thank you Google, but I think there’s more to it. I’ve come to believe that the physical and mental scars we come across in our lives are there to protect us and teach us how to pick ourselves up and learn from our mistakes. Here’s what I mean: 

  • The baseball slide. I learned that not everyone will play nice or fair for that matter, not everyone will be my friend. Some people will play a little rougher, and may even want to hurt me. It’s up to me how I respond. Yes, I could have taken the approach of an eye-for-an-eye. The runner played first base. When I was on base next, I could have been sure to stomp his foot on first base or got some of my friends in school and attacked him after class, but what good would that have done me. I didn’t have to lower my standards to meet his.

  • Climbing the fence. Yes, we’re going to do some stupid things in our life, learn from it, move on, and love the ones who love us anyway. I made a mistake. Pick yourself up and keep moving on. I will say this, I spent the rest of that summer making sure my cuts didn’t get infected and, yes, I never tried to climb another fence in my life! I made sure too to never put myself in a bad position like that again.

Yes, I think scars are nature’s way of teaching us lessons on what’s important. It’s kind of crazy, but I’m grateful for all the scars I’ve accumulated in my life, they’ve made me who I am today. What scars do you have? What have you learned from them?


Thank you for reading. Please follow the HoTM site and join in on the discussion. In addition, please visit my personal blog at or follow me on Instagram at @writingfromtheheartwithbrian.

All the best, Brian.

Images by Stefan Stefancik via Pexels.

29 thoughts on “That’s gonna leave a scar

  1. Such a fun read…at your expense! Thanks for the smiles…I could picture you in your ‘boat shoes’ w/o traction of any sort — but you carried on! Truly – sorry for the scars, but you’re right, they can conjure memories – sometimes bittersweet, humorous or simply potent reminders to be grateful. 😊

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Aww, I’m glad it gave some laughs. That’s what I find funny, humor tinged with lots of sarcasm. The baseball incident just happened, the fence one, can ya get any more dense? Ugh. I’m not sure what was going through my head. Definitely alcohol and college stupidity. I would have never thought of getting in a car and driving (Thank God) but climbing an Alcatraz like fence, sure why not? You only live once! I’m a middle aged man, with my own kids, and definitely feelin’ my age, and wouldn’t you know it, my mother, well into her 80s, still likes to give me a hard time on that decision. She had to spend the summer carting me to the doctor to make sure the scar didn’t get infected. Of course, the nurses kept giving me a side eye, because I didn’t go immediately to the emergency room. “Yea, you were underage drinking.” My mother will never let me live that one down. Ugh. Yes, scars are good right?

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Those visible scars do make it easier to keep life lessons front and center, at least until the skin begins to smooth out, like your knee Brian! I think we can all relate 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Poor Brian. I bet you had some fun times too in between collecting scars. I’m not sure I have too many scars as epic as yours. I do have a long Scar, about 6 inches on my knee, but that was from surgery when I was about 21. Despite not having scars to learn from, I do still have accidents and hopefully learn from them … like running for a bus with the gale force wind at my back … I was worried I would miss my bus … wind picked me up and I fell flat out in front of the bus. I was off work for 2 weeks with a badly twisted ankle … refused to go to the hospital … but hey, caught my bus 😁. Now I’m a bit more cautious running in the wind

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, that sounds like a crazy fall. It’s funny, we typically get snow, some icing, and even some flooding at times throughout the year. The thing that worries me the most is wind. It can cause some crazy damage. I’m glad you’re okay now. My silly scar underneath my shoulder . . . Ugh, pure stupidity, but fortunately, I’ve lived to write about it. At least it’s given some good writing material for this post and a few others that I’ve written over the years. Ha, ha, I guess that’s a positive. Ha, ha.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha, ha, I love that. I find that my best stories have come from the stupid things that I’ve done. Take a deeper look at my posts. Most of them have to do with something to do with everyday stuff that has impacted me. Ha, ha. I’m not sure I would have a blog without run of the mill stuff. Ha, ha.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. “Yes, we’re going to do some stupid things in our life, learn from it, move on, and love the ones who love us anyway .”

    Been there, Done that Brian, stuck on stupid more than I care to remember. It’s loving and “… the ones who love us anyway…” that has pulled me through the rough, often hurtful actions inflicted by others, and healed the self-inflicted scars from jumping over fences I had no business trying to scale.

    Bottom line, Love truly does conquer all hurts, scars and stupidity if we have the courage and humility to let it . . . “And now abideth faith, hope and love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” – I Corinthians 13:13

    Thanks Brian. Be blessed!


  5. From failure comes growth – yes, yes, yes! I love that you’ve come to appreciate those scars as lessons learned. I wouldn’t be who I am today without the visible and invisible scars I’ve earned. And as much as I try to make sure my kids don’t get scars – well, you’ve helped me appreciate that we sometimes get them when we grow and I wouldn’t want to stop them from that. Beautiful post, Brian!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m like you Wynne, I never wanted my kids to hurt themselves, but then I remember that little hurts help us grow. I joke about my stupidity with the fence incident, but I learned the seriousness of my actions. I realized that my actions don’t just hurt myself, they impacted others (ie. my mom didn’t have the $$$ to waste on my medical costs.) I was much more grateful for her help. I learned my lesson.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Scars are lessoned learned. What a great perspective. I was a sophomore in colleg. After drinking a couple beers (sound familiar) with a girlfriend we ran across a busy street to get to a party, where I was going to ask a guy to a tolo dance. Anyway, my girlfriend stopped the oncoming traffic, proceeded to cross and a pickup truck came barreling towards us. I grabbed the hood of her parka and froze. We both got hit. Yes, I have scars, emotional and physical.


  7. Those two moments sound painful and I feel them very vividly from your recounting those moments, Brian.

    Your post makes a good point though that it’s not just the physical imprint they leave but also the psychological and emotional. But perhaps the physical serve as important reminders to not do that again if possible.

    I had a scar on my left upper arm from walking stupidly past my hubby as he was ironing and well, you can see where this is going. Painful. 15 years later and there’s still a faint mark. Hehe.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I really appreciate the perspective of scars as lessons learned. My only scar is bite mark from my brother many moons ago, which I suppose symbolizes that family–love ’em or hate ’em–is forever. 🤣🤣🤣

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I have a few minor scars but overall my body has survived well. My upcoming knee surgery will change all that. I have already learned from that scar and I don’t even have it yet!

    Emotional scars are the same although collagen is not involved in their healing. If those scars could be seen I would appear quite scarred. They have healed over now, smooth to the touch, and I am forever grateful.

    Have a blessed day, Brian.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My physical scars are more recent (two hip replacements in the last 6 years), a few of them are even self-imposed. The same can probably be said of my emotional scars. Time, however much I still have left, will tell how well any of them heal and/or disappear. Great posting and philosophizing here, Brian. Thanks for this power of suggestion, too!

      Liked by 1 person

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