I tripped and fell. Most people don't like to admit when they fall
but I am and I did. Bad. It wasn't like, "Oh, I tripped and kind of
toppled over gracefully." No, this was more along the magnitude of crash
and burn status. I didn't just fall, I fell hard...and all because I took my eyes
off of my path.
In the last six months I have started running again. I ran in
years past but due to knee issues I stopped. In May, I started again and have
slowly built up my stamina and distance. I have a couple of running routes that
I have mapped out around the area we live. Each day, I try and add distance by
running an extra block or going a little further. Usually, I look at a map so I
can be sure and stay on track. This day, I did not. That was my first mistake.
As I was running I thought, I will just
go a block up and I should be fine. But there was no next block - so I kept
running. When I did come to a cross street, it wasn't the one I thought it
would be. But I took it any way. Still no map-checking. I kept looking for
familiar street names (although this route is newer and I'm not familiar with
many of the streets). Each street name I came to was completely unfamiliar but
I thought I was still heading in the general direction that I needed to be, so
I just kept on. Mistake number two.
Finally, when I saw a major road ahead of me, I thought I had to
be on track. Except, as I checked the sign, I realized I was far from my track.
I should have come out on a road that runs East/West. Instead I hit the road
that runs North/South. I was so far from where I should have been although at
least at this point I knew where I was. So, I kept running. I knew if I took
this road south, I would shortly run into the road I was supposed to be on and
could then catch my next turn to get back home. But I started worrying; I
became preoccupied. Because of my detour, I was later than usual, which meant
I would be late to work for sure. Traffic was getting heavier which meant
getting across major streets would take longer. I hadn't run this far in a
while and my legs were getting heavy. If I had to walk the rest of the way, I
would be even later. I finally made it to the right road and began searching
for my next turn off to get back in the right direction. I was so lost in my
own thoughts and in searching for my road that I took my eyes off the path in
front of me.
I saw the road I needed, but what I didn't see was the two inch
lip in the uneven sidewalk. But I felt it...as soon as my foot made solid contact
and I was pitched forward out of control. It was a slow motion feeling as I
tried to brace myself for what I knew was inevitable - contact with the sidewalk
and dirt. It was an epic fall. Again, not just a dainty fall with poise and
charm. No, I hit and then proceeded to slide a few inches before coming to my
final resting place half on the sidewalk (halfway in the dirt). Instantly, I
felt my knees and palm burning in protest.
I knew I had to get up. Not just because I was on a busy street
and people were probably laughing their heads off, but because I had to see if
I could move. I had to see if I could continue on or if I would have to wake up
Duncan to come and get me. As I stood, I felt like I had been hit by a truck.
The entire front of me was covered in dirt and my right palm had concrete burn.
It stung but I didn't see or feel blood anywhere. I started walking and dusting
myself off, trying to move myself as far as possible from the scene of the
crime. I was afraid someone who saw me eat it would feel the need to stop and
check if I was OK which would make my humiliation all too real. I was stiff,
but I could move. I walked a little and then started jogging and - with as much
as was in me - picked up the pace.
I had to stop one or two more times just to give myself a breather, but I made it home. As I pulled out my phone (finally), my tracker showed I had run a mile farther than usual but my time was actually decent. As I walked in the door, I sheepishly told Duncan what happened and that it was not how I expected to start my day. He asked me what I wanted to do. I said go back to bed. After a quick check, I had some concrete rash on both knees and my palm but other than that I was OK.
So what's the moral of the story? Watch where you are going? Yes, but more than that I think I would say it's about paying attention to the warning signs. See, I took my eyes off my path, which we can often do with God. We get preoccupied, confused, frightened by our circumstances and we get distracted. But if I had heeded the warning signs and slowed down sooner, I could have saved myself a grand trip (literally). This is the same with our walk. Oftentimes, we get off track and rather than stopping, it's all too easy to just keep going and we find ourselves in a place where each step takes us further from where we want to be. We find ourselves in that place, with that person, having that conversation, doing that thing, and then we realize we've too far gone. We get caught up in the scramble to get ourselves back and we fall. When we get off track and we know it, we need to stop and check in. Don't take one more step without hearing God's voice. Luckily, when we detour, God makes it easy to find our way back.
The next few days would bring bruises
and soreness but overall, no harm done; God had protected the integrity of my
knee and I was back running in two days (this time on a route I was familiar
with). He often does that in us. We have to deal with the consequences of our
choices but God often protects us and preserves the integrity of our spirit. So
I took a fall. It was my first in all my days of running. Sadly, after talking
with running friends, it probably won't be my last. But I'll know better next
time: heed warning signs, keep my eyes on the path, and watch those uneven
sidewalks. It's the same for my walk: heed God's warnings of what we should and
should not be doing, keep my eyes on Him, and watch those tricky uneven places
I shouldn't be.
Today, I can say I'm thankful for the fall, for the lessons it has taught me, and that I wasn't injured. Most of all, I'm thankful I didn't end upon YouTube (I hope).
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Posted Apr 15, 2013 08:50:00 PM by Margie Chrestman