I’d like to say it was because of the darkness, or the leaf-covered street or the loose running pants I was wearing. Sadly, embarrassingly, I can’t.
I tripped this morning while I was running because I was fiddling with my iPod instead of watching the road. One moment I was happy and aerobic and upright. Then, in about a fourth of the time it takes to say “Oh, $#%&,” I was in great pain, fighting for breath, and very horizontal.
Ok, stupid me.
I rolled over, hands stinging from their sudden introduction to the sidewalk and my lungs desperate to re-fill themselves with air. I laid on my back for about eight seconds — filling in the blanks of what had just happened — before I realized that the approaching traffic might think that some old guy had a heart attack. I didn’t want any good Samaritan to come screeching to a halt just to find out some idiot had only tripped on the curb, so I got back on my feet as quickly as I could.
Taking inventory of my injuries, I realized I hadn’t done any permanent damage. That, however, did NOT diminish my instant desire to back-track to my warm house where I was sure my loving and sympathetic family would welcome me with open arms, a warm bath, and a breakfast burrito.
Instead, I took a step forward, then another, then another. Once I was sure I wasn’t bleeding internally, I resumed my run. Pretty soon the stinging in my hands subsided, my breathing transitioned back into my normal running-induced wheezing, and all was right with the world again.
The lesson here? If you fall down, GET BACK UP and KEEP GOING.
Have you screwed something up recently? Get back up! Do your best to fix it and start moving forward.
Have you missed a deadline? Get back up! Get the work done and keep moving forward.
Have you fallen off the exercise or eating right wagon? Get back up! Eat an apple or take the stairs. If you’re really motivated, eat an apple while climbing some stairs.
Has something de-railed you from following your passion or calling? Get back up! Stop letting outside forces keep you from moving toward your goal.
Have you lost your job? Get back up! Develop a new skill or make another contact (or fifty or hundred).
Have you hurt a relationship at work or home? Get back up! Accept responsibility, apologize sincerely, and start rebuilding your friendship.
Very seldom do we perform fatal mistakes, yet we let our mistakes paralyze us from moving forward. We even use our mistakes as excuses to retreat to a safer, more comfortable place. Maybe one with a breakfast burrito waiting.
Here’s a better approach:
When you trip and fall (even if it’s not your fault), get back up, survey the damage, and then keep moving forward. By all means if something is bleeding or broken, fix it first. You can’t ignore serious damage. But 96.3% of the time (totally made that stat up), the damage is not severe. Embarrassing? Yes. Painful? You bet. A reason to stop or retreat? No way, no how.
Winston Churchill said it best: “When you’re going through Hell, keep going.”
In other words, Get Back Up!
Have you tripped, fallen, and gotten back up? Tell us your story by leaving a comment!