Falling on my face metaphorically has been a regular occurrence throughout my life. Physically? Not so much. I do my best to avoid risky activities… you know, like a wuss. The other night, however, I got to do a full out old man fall. This is the kind of fall where, if people saw it, they wouldn’t laugh because no one wants to be the person laughing at the guy in need of an ambulance. Little kids falling? That’s hilarious because they tend to bounce back up like nothing happened. There was no bouncing for me; it was more of a thud like a tree falling, but the tree is wrapped with a layer of muscle in training (aka fat).
Sunday nights I’ve started going for a jog to help free my mind and prepare me for the week while trying to reduce my muscle in training. This past Sunday was my usual 9:30pm start when normal people are getting ready for bed (aka watching TV). I find something peaceful about this time of day and, I’ll be honest, the darkness makes it easy to see into people’s houses. I don’t mean this in a creepy way. I just like looking into people’s houses… wait, that doesn’t help. I’m not hiding in the bushes or using binoculars; I just slow down to peer into the house a few seconds longer because I like seeing the layouts of people’s houses. If anything, seeing people makes me feel awkward. It’s like I’m peering into their house when I shouldn’t… because I am. If I had free time I’d be doing all the open houses I could like the people real estate agents hate, which is like a bigger scale version of taste testing at Costco: “How much is this product I have no interest in buying, but feel obligated to ask about? Great; thanks.”
So while jogging on a sidewalk about two kilometers away from my house, I turned a corner and I didn’t notice the two sidewalk slabs were uneven and I bailed hard. It was the kind of fall you are completely unprepared for because you’re way too relaxed and why wouldn’t I be? Jogging is like the safest aerobic activity since there aren’t any balls flying at your head or people trying to tackle you. If I was jogging on a trail I’d be more aware of the risk of falling because of roots and such, but this is a pretty much flat surface so I was in my own little world. I was daydreaming about random crap guys think about when you ask them: “What are you thinking about?” and the guy says, “Nothing,” because it really is so pointless it falls in the category of nothing.
Before I was even aware of what was happening, I was hitting the ground and seeing my hand slide on the rough concrete like I was trying to rigorously massage it. My first actual thought was “This is not going to feel good later.” And I was right. It didn’t feel good later. Fortunately, my body was smarter than I expected and I naturally fell with a lean to the side where one hand and knee took most of the weight as I then roll into the grass to take away some of the fall. This meant I wasn’t at risk of breaking my wrists like some people do when they fall forwards. The funny thing was as I started to get up my first thought was that of a five year old: “I’m hurt and bleeding. Who’s going to kiss my boo boos and carry me home?” That was a good moment for a thirty-eight year old. Fortunately, it was just a moment and I did a damage check. My one knee was scraped up and my one palm was pretty bad with the corresponding thumb nail being very bruised, but I was overall fine. It was 2km home if I turned back or I could do another 4km if I continued, so I thought, “I’m going to be sore jogging or sitting at home, so I might as well finish my run. Besides, if I was playing a sport I’d be right back into it.” My logic brain was back on track and I was thinking properly. While I was jogging the words of my friend I sometimes jog with came to mind, “Never run on the sidewalk.” I thought this was stupid advice, but not anymore. The best part is when I got home; after a few minutes when my wife was not distracted, I said “Funny story… and then showed her my hand and she got all mommy-sympathetic, and I was like “Yeah, I’m a man. I grossed her out and I’m getting sympathy. It was so worth falling.” Men are sad, aren’t we?
The title of this post claims that it was good that I fell, which means I better explain this. As I often claim, there is good in all things, so what is good about this situation?
- My wife had the best possible response that helped me feel loved
- It could’ve been worse (e.g I didn’t have more blood issues or break my wrist)
- I’m able to feel pain, which means my body is protecting itself from further hurt while it heals
- I’m actually able to jog (i.e. I’m not physically handicapped in some way like when my back was really bad this summer)
- My body’s natural response was very healthy when I rolled in the grass
- I had the determination to finish the jog
- Having a bad palm made my work outs difficult for the week, but it was only for a week
- My injuries didn’t prevent me from being able to work
- It’s not Frisbee season, so my playing wasn’t affected
- I learned a valuable lesson about jogging at night on sidewalks
- I’m grateful for lit streets and sidewalks, so I can jog at night unlike in a forest
- I learned if jogging can injure me, I shouldn’t be scared to do more sports since I can get hurt either way and I enjoy playing sports more
This week may you see the good in a situation that isn’t the most pleasant in order to help it feel not so bad.
Rev. Chad David, ChadDavid.ca, learning to love dumb people