I used to joke, “I have the greatest job in the world, but it does have a dark side.” Then I would explain, “I’ve also been bitten, scratched and pooped on by one of every creature at your local zoo.” I was only half kidding, because there have been a few injuries and accidents along the way.
While recovering from my third knee surgery recently I was thinking about some of the fun I’ve had in doing this job my wife describes as, “summer camp for adults.” This year I celebrate twenty years of working at National Geographic, or twenty years of getting paid to go to summer camp as Betty calls it. It has been filled with multiple adventures of a lifetime.
I don’t know if you can have too much fun, but there is price to pay for trying. In addition to the three knee surgeries, I’ve had rotator cuff surgery on both shoulders, a foot surgery, a dislocated elbow, fractured pelvis, scapula, great toe, and fractured ribs twice, a lower back injury, a few stiches on occasion, numerous bites, scrapes, and cuts, as well as a variety of infections.
No wonder my orthopedist, David Johnson, calls me his annuity. In celebration of my 20 years at National Geographic I’ve put together a few of my adventures in the field that have led to adventures in hospitals and recovery rooms. The video is set a blues song appropriately titled, “Hurts Me Too,” recorded by some friends of mine for the occasion. This week on my radio show, “National Geographic Weekend,” I also talk about some of the adventures of the past 20 years.