Yesterday, I re-geared my morning routine to add back in strength training. I have not done that in some time, and I felt inspired (or something like that!) to get back to that aspect of exercise. It hurt, and yet it felt so good at the same time. That being said, I missed running that morning, so I used my lunch time to go out for a quick jog. However, at the beginning of my jog, I had a rare experience. Somehow, my foot misstepped as I went from sidewalk to pavement, and I completely skidded across the gravel patch. I caught myself on my hands, and managed to leave the experience without bloody knees, but I did have quite the bloody palms. I picked myself up and kept going.
As I continued to run, I thought about my fall as I looked at my bloody palms and picked small pieces of gravel out of the skin while I jogged. Life is often like that fall. It can happen as we shift from one place to another. Or it can happen as we take our eyes off the right direction. Or a fall can happen simply out of nowhere, catching us off guard, leaving us with scrapes and bruises and possibly even scars. But every fall has the potential to teach us lessons.
My first reaction when I fell was to quick look and see if anyone else witnessed the event. For my prides's sake, I was glad no one had. But as the day went along, I began to admit that I had taken a stumble. The scenario became a bit humorous, if I allowed it, to a point of even laughing over being asked if I needed the curb painted for me. But again, this brought me back to comparison to real life.
How many times when I make mistakes do I try to cover them? Or look around to see if anyone noticed? Yet when I can be humble enough to admit to my mistakes, my falls, I can learn to laugh about it and learn from it better than if I just sat on it and said nothing. Falls/spills/mistakes, are meant to help teach us to grow; To pick ourselves up and keep going. And sometimes the scars that remain after the fact help us remember not to make the same mistakes. The scars that remain afterwards can be beautiful reminders to redirect our steps more appropriately. The scars that remain after mistakes can be used to tell a story- one at which we may never laugh, but we can humbly use as helpful reminders to others in our lives to be careful of their steps or to take more caution in where they go or what they do.
My son asked me that evening, upon examining my oozing palm, if I cried. I said no. Then he asked if I quit. To which the answer was also No. "I'm a runner. I got back up and kept going and didn't look back...." He seemed satisfied with that answer. For me, though, that answer became much more about life than a run. I will admit I am a crier when it comes to hard times. But I cry and press on. I don't quit. I keep going and (try) not to look back. It's good to have a scar or a scrape and to remember. But it's even better to keep going and not give up. It's good to see the scar and know that "Oh yeah, remember that one day I fell? I survived and kept going, but I have to remember to be careful."
We can react so many ways when we fall. We can quit. We can cry. We can get scared and not go back. We can hide and not share our scrapes/bruises/scars. But the best thing to do is to get up, pick out the gravel, and keep going. And use that fall as a lesson for the future. Tell the story- perhaps someone can learn from it. (or paint a curb for you to help you not make the same mistake). Let your fall help you grow.
My palms are fine, by the way. They are tender and scraped and bruised, but the moment of that fall became a good life reminder for me. And quite honestly, the tumble is now quite humorous. And the run turned out to be a beautiful one, just as a fall in life can become the same story, if I choose to keep going.... one day at a time.