Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fall Down Seven Times, Stand Up Eight

This morning’s run was not fun. I was stiff and maybe a little tired still. I was probably more tired from the Buffalo Run than I thought I was. And maybe that contributed a little to the spill I took on my bike earlier this week. But it was probably more that I wasn't paying attention. Or just careless.

I wasn't hurt. Much. I have light road rash on the left side of my body and bruises on my shoulder and legs. My elbow took the brunt of it. And my neck was stiff. Thanks goodness for my helmet and that no cars were around! I think only one person saw my fall and he came over to ask if I was okay. I said I was. Then put the chain back on my bike, straightened the seat, fixed the visor on my helmet, and was back on my way.

I've had worse crashes on my bike. You should see my knees. And there was the time I flipped my road bike and thought for sure I'd dislocated or broke my shoulder but Urgent Care said I was fine. Of course, the worst crash left more emotional scars than anything. Scars that I am still dealing with but that aren't so bad anymore.

The emotional scars? They are from when I was hit by a car (his fault). Luckily neither of us were going fast. One witness said she’d never seen a more graceful fall so it obviously wasn't that bad. I can’t even remember the car hitting me. I just remember knowing it was going to hit me and then the next thing I knew I was jumping up and watching my water bottle roll down the street. I was thinking more about my bike than myself. (I'd only had my new road bike 4 months when we were hit.) It wasn't until someone asked me how I was that I took stock of my body – just bruised and some scratches on me (my bike needed a new fork and a new wheel). The worst part was that for a long time I was angry at cars. And I would have a little panic attack every time I saw a car making a left turn. Lethal Lefties I called them. Anyway, it got so bad, I gave up riding for more than a year. And gained back all the weight I'd lost.

But eventually, I decided that I wasn't going to let my anger and fear keep me from doing something that I truly loved and I got back on the bike.

So this fall was nothing compared to those. And if I wasn't sure, then my trip to the bike shop on Tuesday to buy a new helmet confirmed it. Love the LBS boys but they aren't big on sympathy! Which is okay since they are my biggest running fans. Besides my coworkers.

The funny thing is that despite the falls (the most embarrassing for sure was the time I forgot I was clipped in and we stopped at a light and I just went over – imagine a turtle on it’s back) I've had on my bikes, I've always felt most graceful on the bike. More so than running. Definitely more so than walking.

I tend to trip when I walk. In fact, of all the things I do, walking has been the most dangerous for me – falling down stairs, breaking my leg walking thru the grass, the black eye from walking into a door. Sigh. But that's okay. I know that it happens when I'm distracted and not aware of my surroundings so I try to be more aware of where I am in the world. I think it’s better when I’m riding and running because it’s something I do consciously. Where with walking, it's supposed to be like breathing, something you just do. For most people.

Still, I guess all that matters is that if I fall down, I get back up whether it be an actual fall or an emotional one. Maybe that's why I've always liked this Japanese proverb:
Fall down seven times, stand up eight.
Sure would be nice to stay standing though!

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