Last Saturday I ran 9 miles along the Ventura coast (an awesome place to run by the way). The run started kind of weird with my heart rate all over the map (I’ve been using HR to make sure my easy runs are truly easy). After the first mile it settled down to a rate lower than normal. I remember thinking, “hmmm, now I can go faster.” The next thing I knew, I was hurtling toward the ground, hoping that the broken glass I was seeing was not going to imbed itself in my hands.
I hit hard after tripping on the uneven pavement, scraping my knee, both hands, my elbow, and bruising my shoulder. I think I was back on my feet before my body was completely done falling. Bloody hands and a bloody knee…purple already showing around my wrist. I seriously considered turning around and giving up on this day’s run.
Instead I pulled out my water bottle, rinsed the blood off my hands, and continued on. Ahead I saw a group running my way…they’re from a different club, but I know one of them. As we passed he asked if I was ok, “yes, I’m fine.” Maybe it was pride that kept me going. Maybe it was training for perseverance. Maybe it was determination.
Regardless I had the next 8 miles for contemplation. My conclusion? Life is about getting back up. We have disappointments, setbacks, hurts… all the time, and each time, we have the choice of whether to get up or not.
Knocked down at work? Need to find a new job? Misunderstood? Struggling with a relationship? Hurt by someone’s unkind words? Hurt by someone’s deeds? Frustrated by your own failure to meet a goal? Life is sometimes painful and bruising.
The reality is though, regardless of our response, life will have its difficulties. So we might as well get up and keep going. Sometimes that requires a change in direction, but we are still moving. Sometimes we are helped along by others, and in gratitude we can also be helpful another day. Sometimes it hurts while we are moving, but it will hurt as we stand still. The good news is that looking back, we often see those difficult and painful moments as important in this journey of life.
I approach this topic from the vantage point of my faith, knowing that I am forgiven and loved, regardless of my response. This good news doesn’t take away pain but it does help me to keep going.
When have you had to live the lesson of getting back up?