July 22, 2018
As I was heading down the smooth concrete of the bike ramp, the velocity coupled with a tight downturn was uncontrollable for the novice skateboarder in me. I fell hard below my knee. It hurt. I waited a few minutes for the adrenaline to numb the pain so I can try again. Moments later, I would try that advance turn again – this time, landing and overextending my knee. I hurt, but this time, I knew it was much more serious.
When I started skateboarding daily I knew my inexperience and lack of athleticism would disable me in many areas, especially when falling. I don’t have the muscle memory to roll when the board unearths me. I don’t have the natural buoyancy to push away the board when I start to lose control. Since I never played sports as a child, I’m not used to my body moving outside of a controlled gym environment. While I have strength, endurance and flexibility, I don’t have instinct. When things go unplanned, my body didn’t know how to react.
These last couple days I’ve been elevating, icing, heating and resting as much as a busy mother can. The first day was toughest though. I kept thinking about our travel plans the next week, which included a lot of walking. I thought about how life could change instantly from one minute to the next, after all, I was having a highly efficient morning only to see it abruptly stop after the injury. I thought about the last month, in which my mother and husband dealt with debilitating leg and arm pain, and now I have a greater sense of empathy for them both.
I knew I would eventually fall and despite reading on ‘how to fall’ – nothing prepares you for that split second when you have to make a choice and your body stiffens instead of softening. When you are moving at a high speed you can’t stop with force, like the correct act of falling, you go with the flow, you let go and you roll until your body’s speed declines.
Metaphorically speaking, whenever you undergo any challenging moment – let go of the things you cannot change and literally ‘roll’ with the things you can.
So here I am, laid up in bed but being unusually positive despite the reality of not being able to move efficiently for the next several weeks. Truth is, the experience sucks. But I knew it would when I started skateboarding. While I love being on the board, I knew there will be times I’d be thrown off it. Same thing with career, friendships and love… feeling passion and pain in any endeavor will be in direct proportion to your vulnerability to it.
The faster you go, the harder you will fall.
The harder you love, the deeper the pain.
The deeper the slope, the faster the ride…
The faster the life, the slower you will feel when it halts…
Hence the slowness I feel right now in reflection of my life this year, in this moment, and now on this bed. I detest believing any blessing can be found in a torn ligament – but perhaps this pause is teaching me some important life lessons. God will gives you hints before the fall (literally). More experience will give you more perspective and greater intuition. Always exhibit gratitude for things you take for granted (like a working leg). Don’t try to control an impact, allow your body to flow with the impact…lastly, you can’t heal wounds instantly – whether it’s physical, emotional or spiritual.
Only time can heal a wound.