It finally happened.
After six years of early morning runs, I did the thing I’ve been dreading.
I fell. Hard.
It’s quite the miracle I haven’t fallen before this point. As a child I visited the emergency room multiple times due to freak tripping accidents.
First grade: Running in the garage, slipping on beach bag sand, splitting open my chin.
Second grade: Running in the cabin with ski boots on, slipping on the tile, burning my hand on the pot bellied stove.
Fourth grade: Running lines during the first day of tennis camp, tripping, and fracturing my elbow.
Sixth grade: Running through the house, tripping on a step, breaking my arm in two places.
It is mystifying I decided to take up running based on such a track record.
There was no warning, no trying to catch myself. I saw the tree root and thought I’d hopped over it high enough, but instead I went straight down hard on my hip and ribs and knees—bruising and bleeding on impact. It was that kind of fall that rips the breath from your lungs and reminds you of your humanness.
After crying for a few minutes and examining my injuries, I determined a trip to the Emergency Room wouldn’t be necessary this time around, but a hot shower certainly would be. I limped home with Sharon’s help, discussing our worthless head lamps and making plans for the following night.
It’s a humbling moment to fall as an adult. Toddlers fall daily, and they get right back up and keep going. But, adults? We might trip up here and there, but our big falls become fewer and far between. When they do happen, they are shocking and painful, embarrassing perhaps. And, the ramifications last. The bruising takes awhile to heal, the scabs become irritated and raw. I didn’t even know how badly I hurt until waking up the next morning—my back, neck and arm muscles holding soreness I didn’t earn from lifting weights.
I don’t know when you had your last big fall. Maybe it was a literal, physical fall like mine, or maybe it was something like a job loss, home loss, family loss, health loss. Either way, I know the pain can be excruciating. The shock of such a fall, and the time it takes to recover, makes us feel HUMAN in a way we don’t recognize.
If you’ve fallen, and you’re still picking up the pieces, I just want you to know I’ve been there. Healing takes time. You’re not alone.