I just fell.
No, really. I just tripped walking up a curb. And I fell down. Hard. On all fours.
I was looking around, enjoying the sunny weather. Unwinding at the end of a long day, and walking toward my favorite pub to looking forward to savoring a brew while my fiancé finishes his day.
I had my phone in my hand, but was not even looking down at it. I actually have no idea how it happened. I crossed the street, and my toe snagged the edge of the curb as I stepped up. Then – you know – it’s all in slow motion, but happening so fast at the same time. I tumbled forward, landed in a lunge-like position, with my left knee on the ground. My phone was still in my right hand, but now face down on the concrete. I knelt there and took a couple deep breaths, as I realized there were about 8 people around me who saw the whole thing. The nice man in front of me turned around (because he must have heard the ‘splat’ sound I made as I landed on the sidewalk) and asked “Oh my gosh! Are you okay?” I said, “Well, I think so. My ego is definitely bruised, but I think I’m alright.”
I hurriedly finished my walk to the pub (ordered my beer) and scooted to the restroom to survey my wounds. My shoe has a new hole in it, and my knee is skinned, but otherwise I think I made it through okay. My wrist is a tad bit tender, but nothing too crazy. And then there’s my phone…
You know what? My phone isn’t so bad. A couple dings, but my protective cover did the trick. I mean, it landed FACE DOWN ON CONCRETE. Slammed down. And only a couple dings. Good thing I have a cover on it!
And then I started thinking. I fell down. I mean, I fell HARD…And I’m okay.
I picked myself off the ground, kept moving toward my destination, awkwardly laughed with the man who asked if I was okay, and – besides being completely embarrassed – I made it through with only a few scratches.
But what if I had a bad back, and the jolt to the ground made me reel in pain? What if my legs were so weak, I wasn’t able to stand back up off the ground? What if my arms were so unstable, that simply catching my own bodyweight on the ground broke bones? What if I was so uncoordinated in that moment, that my head struck the pavement?
There are some things that just happen. In an instant, and completely uncontrollable. Sometimes we do our best, and we can still get injured – it happens. But we DO have some ownership over what we CAN control to mitigate this. We can hedge our bets.
In my opinion, one of the best explanations of “Why do we do CrossFit” is the Sickness – Wellness – Fitness continuum. I wrote about it before in a previous blog post. The gist is that your health status, measured by all kinds of tests – strength, conditioning, flexibility – all act as protectors against sickness and injury.
Why didn’t my phone shatter into pieces? Because it’s protected. No doubt – I’m sure there’s a bit of luck involved there wasn’t a random rock that my phone gravitated to, but considering the impact of the fall, it’s a huge ‘win’ the screen doesn’t look like a spiderweb right now.
Why am I okay right now? Sipping on a beer at my favorite pub as I type this post? Because I am protected. I am strong, I have a decent amount of mobility, and – even though I’m now questioning my balancing abilities – I know I am healthy enough to move my body through normal daily tasks. Because I’m able to perform non-daily tasks on a regular basis – like lifting weights or doing a bunch of burpees or lunging across a gym – I KNOW that getting up off the ground won’t be a problem. I’ve successfully built enough protection around myself to trip, fall, get up, and walk away to tell the tale.
So, I’ll leave you to contemplate this question – what are you doing to build your armor?
Cheers to your health, and see you at the gym –