Monday, January 30, 2012
Pride Had Nothing To Do With This Fall!
Goshen Prong Trail - GSMNP
January 24, 2012
Oh boy, did I ever take a tumble. But before you panic and begin sending encouraging words my way, I am happy to report that my "fall" had nothing to do with eating or was in any way related to the current success I am experiencing with losing weight. In fact, I have yet another week of healthy eating behind me alternating between Cycle 1 and Cycle 2 of the 17-Day Diet. It has become second nature to me and I'm truly enjoying the way I am eating, the wide variety of food I am eating and most importantly, the way I am feeling both physically and emotionally.
Nope, this "fall" was of the very real variety when one loses their footing, dances around for a few seconds trying to regain their balance and then realizes just before hitting the ground that this really is going to happen. Every serious hiker falls occasionally. There are just too many hazards along the trail to avoid. I'm naturally pretty clumsy, but this was only the third time I've taken what could've been a serious tumble. And that's in over 20 years of hiking.
I haven't written a whole lot about the fact that I was diagnosed at age 28 with Acute Rheumatoid Disease. My original diagnosis and years of pain while finding the proper treatment plan is fodder for several posts, but the miracle is that with the advances in treatment options for the disease, mine has pretty much been in remission for several years although I have been experiencing some pain that started early last year. HOWEVER, for someone like me, falling can have major consequences that don't show up immediately. A jolt to the body can easily trigger a major flare which often leads to full blown disease progression.
All that to say, for obvious reasons, I try to be extra vigilant while on the trail in order to avoid falling. I am so grateful just for the fact that I can hike since for about five years in the late 80's, I could barely walk, much less do any form of physical activity other than work. Some have told me I shouldn't take the risk, but to me, the risk is in NOT pursuing the things which benefit me physically and mentally.
Looking back, I have no idea what caused me to fall and that's the way it often is. The trail was relatively flat, smooth, not rutted or rocky. In hindsight, it is likely that I looked up or around at something that caught my eye and just stumbled. And I hit the ground!! First my knees, then my elbows, then my nose and lastly, forehead. And I saw stars!! Scared my hiking bud to death. But there was no blood, the stars cleared pretty quickly and although I knew my right elbow was injured, it wasn't bad enough to turn around. Nothing broken, all teeth still in place and no knot on forehead. I was lucky. Very lucky!
This happened on Tuesday. By Friday, the swelling in my elbow had returned to normal and I had all mobility back. Both elbows, knees and chin are bruised, but not badly. The only thing still sore is my upper arms which probably caught the brunt of the fall as I tried to catch myself. Mr. B and I actually returned to the hiking trail yesterday and enjoyed hiking together. He did, however, have to help me lift my pack onto my shoulders because my upper arms are still so sore.
Why am I telling you all this? Because it was a vivid reminder to me that life is all about falling. We will all fall. We live in a fallen world and our lives will always be impacted by the ways in which we personally fall as well as the "falls" taken by people we love. They will also be impacted by the "falls" of people we've never even met.
So what do we do? We get up. We check for injury. We sit still for a moment to allow the stars to clear. We hold out our hands for help getting up. We move on. We live with the consequences. We handle the pain. We wonder if we could have or should have done anything differently. Sometimes we cry. And one day, the pain from that particular circumstance is gone and we put it behind us. Until the next time. Because there WILL be a next time.
It had been almost two years since the last time I fell, but mostly likely, I will fall again.
Whether we are talking about a faceplant 5.5 miles in the backcountry of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, an epic fail in the kitchen, a conversation we'd love to retract, angry words that should've been left unsaid, or an eating binge of monumental proportions, we are fallen human beings and we will continue to fall as long as we live on this earth.
BUT WE DON'T QUIT!
AND I HOPE YOU WON'T EITHER!