On a recent trail run in the Santa Monica Mountains, I hit the downhill with a rush of excitement (because seriously, who isn't excited when you finally get to the downhill part?) and about 1/2 way down the mountain, I fell down way hard. I am talking right side of my body all over that gravel surface. I left a part of me on that mountain that day, literally. And it happened so fast. Blink of an eye, I am running like a 'champion' and then boom, flat on the ground. Always humbling and once you stand back up and realize that you are actually okay, it is a bit of a jolt to your reality.
In all honesty, I really feel like I am walking around at all times actually focusing on not falling down and then the Earth moves or your stride shifts and down you go. Add the fear of falling off the side of a mountain and it is doubled in its effect.
In the midst of this nasty spill and life metaphor, I realized that I had not fallen down in a long time. I must be living pretty cautious or present to the bumps and curves because unless you count ice skating this past December, I have not fallen down like this ... since that one time in college running in sweatpants and totally falling on a busy street in front of what I knew must have been everyone (like 4 people). However, it is a great reminder that you fall down, you grab a couple scrapes here and there, but you get back up and if you can, you finish the run. Like life, you are going to hit those bumps, it is choosing to stand back up and keep moving forward and finish. And we all can. We all do.
And then, what is even more cool is the battle stories when people see your shredded shoulder and scratched arms. It is such the conversation starter at an afternoon BBQ or chance meeting at the dog park You get this, "oh my, what happened here?" question and for some reason, every single person guesses mountain biking. With an aire of awesomeness I respond with my trail running story with the utmost flare of bad-assery. I absolutely love to sweat, go on adventures in nature and be with my man, so when this story has all three of those elements going for me, it is quite the connection. And well, I feel cool.
And isn't that what we are all out there going for anyway? Living a life aligned to our values, present in the moment, getting sweaty and hell, falling down to get back up again. For the pure joy of it, yes, and for the experience that we can later share with others via social media pics, stories and if applicable, battle wounds.
Bring on the big life with all the juicy stories, big falls, and the opportunity to get back up again!