I got the title for this post from my friend JM in a comment on Facebook. I felt is was appropriate and witty.
While on my 14 mile training run yesterday, after several months of training, the inevitable finally happened. I caught the lip of a "well-kept" Springfield sidewalk, rolled my ankle, and Rambo rolled across someone's driveway. Taken aback by what had happened, I jumped up and immediately started taking the vitals. Ankle intact? check. Elbows and wrists still in sockets (I know gross)? Check. Blood on hands or knees? Not a drop. Any other extreme aches or pains? None that aren't normal for a runner.
As a walked for 5 minutes to let the shock wear off, I contemplated what had just happened. I felt a full spectrum of emotions. Frustrated, amused, angry, sad, motivated, confused...
Lately I've had this tendency to feel sorry for myself. Have you ever experienced that? I'm pretty sure we all have. And in certain times of our life we have a tendency to do it more than others. I am usually completely aware of this behavior and it often makes me feel weak, frustrated and completely unsatisfied.
Walking down the sidewalk watching for cracks and avoiding killer sweet gum balls, I knew I had a choice to make. I could feel sorry for myself for falling, accept that I was defeated by a protruding bit of concrete, and go home looking for sympathy for having been through such an ordeal Or I could look at the fall as a bump in the road that had no ill intentions to hurt me but merely posed to challenge me to make the choice to be strong.
So when a fall happens only a quarter way through your run, what should you do? Accept defeat or finish?
I was thankfully unharmed and physically very capable of finishing the run. But did I have the mental strength to combat self pity and defeat?
Sometimes when we are in need of something in our hearts we find ways to get it from the people around us. We don't do it maliciously, but we manipulate our stories or dramatize the happenings of everyday life just to get a specific reaction. If I'm very honest, I do this sometimes, but it's not a quality I'm particularly proud of. The thought crossed my mind to play this out as a traumatic ordeal. But the truth was, it wasn't. It was ordinary and uneventful. I was unharmed without a scratch.
I had to find a way to satisfy my own heart when an obstacle presented itself. I knew I couldn't rely on the sympathy and pity of others if I'd chosen to quit. Because in my heart I didn't really want to quit.
My stumble is a concrete scenario of either choosing self pity and quitting or self empowerment and success. I'm still discovering everyday the things that satisfy my own heart. Choosing to finish my run was a good step in the right direction.
I, like many, want to succeed. I accept that I have faults and I accept that it sucks to fall down sometimes, but I refuse to just lay there when I know my legs and my mind are capable of running the entire race. I want to succeed in my life right now. I accept that my situation has faults, that it's not perfect, that it's not my purpose in this world but I refuse to lie down and just go through the motions. I refuse to be zombie-like and not continue to grow, especially when I know that I am more than capable to grow in ways that I never knew possible.
When you stumble and fall there's always some way to get back up again. It's just up to you to decide what you will do when you're back on your feet again? Will you succumb to pity or own the situation with strength? My humble stumble really taught me a lesson yesterday. It reminded me that I do have the option to keep going and to push right to the finish. Things may not be perfect. I may fall sometimes. But I don't want to feel sorry about that. I want to be thankful for the opportunity to become stronger because if it.
This post is dedicated to all you warriors out there who have been through something hard and are stronger when you came out the other side. You are amazing! Keep fighting. It's worth it :)
BPositive and BStrong!