Today I fell.
The earth tipped underneath me and gravity sucked me down. Skin torn, bones rattled, muscles mashed, and pride wounded I limped away from the experience and willed myself not to cry or lose my lunch in front of the crowd that gathered. My stomach roiled and my knees ached but I made it to the car without falling again.
I had stepped out for a pace run at the gym, and the gentleman who hopped off the treadmill before me had not ensured it had come to a full stop before he got off. I foolishly did not stop to look and see whether the treadmill was safe to step onto. And down I went.
I got home with mascara-stained cheeks. I am not ashamed to admit that I cried in the car. I sniffled through the house. Shame. Embarrassment. Fear. Pain.
This fall seemed the culmination of a series of painful reminders recently that I am human. The pain in my knees was sharp and an echo to the dull ache that has throbbed inside my heart lately. I took the loss of my job so personally that the wound is only just festering to the surface. I feel the trepidation of life after graduation approaching. I can feel the limitations of my body when I run at the moment. I feel like I am constantly falling.
I count my blessings daily, and I am so happy for all the wonderful people I have in my life, but sometimes I fall.
Then I remember.
We fall, hit the ground, find the bottom of our experience so that we know how to fight to stand again, how to reach for higher ground, and scrabble and claw at the rocks until we mount the summit again.
We fall so that we know how much those highs mean to us. How much we would sacrifice, how hard we will push ourselves, to make it to the top once more.
And after we fall, after we feel that cavern floor and spit out the dust, we rise. We spread tentative wings and pray for a gentle breeze to lift us. Then we find the thermal, we beat our wings feeling strength course through us, and once again we soar. Perhaps a little battle-scarred and certainly wiser, but we shall always rise again.
We must fall in life so that we can learn to pick ourselves up.
I have fallen. Now I rise. Rise and run again.
Tell me dear reader, what have you learned from your falls? How do you pick yourself up?