So, when I fell down this weekend while running, I naturally turned it into a metaphor.
I've taken up running again; partly for health and mostly because I've never felt as psychological healthy as I did when I was regularly running. I'm trying to run 3 times per week, usually at Memorial Park, around Rice University, or in my neighborhood.
This past Saturday I was running around Memorial Park when the unthinkable happened. First, let me say that I spend a great deal of my time trying to ensure that I don't fall down. It's one of my big fears in life. I don't roller skate, ski, or climb up on high things all because I don't want to risk falling. However, activities like walking and running don't usually invoke that fear.
How naive I can be...
I was over halfway done with my run when I tripped over something....I think a tree root. I tried to catch myself with my hands, but since the ground was gravel, my hands slid and I landed completely on the front of my body. Torso and thighs covered in dirt. Hands covered in gravel and spots of blood. Car keys flew several feet from where I landed. I'm making this sound very dramatic. It was embarrassing. I quickly picked myself up, briefly considered running into the trees to cry, and then kept running. Fast, to get away from the people who has seen my collision with the ground.
The metaphor here is obvious: when you fall down, get up, keep going. Both literally and metaphorically. Take time to care for your wounds, give yourself a break, but keep going. I've so often given into the first instinct - to run away and hide, to seek comfort and solace in giving up. I am now learning that when I fail or do something I regret, the answer is to keep going.
Perseverance might be the difference between successful and unsuccessful people. I get the feeling that if you just never, ever, ever, ever give up, you are bound to succeed eventually. A theory I'm willing to give a try.
So, when I got back to my car, my hands were stinging and my phone was covered in a few spots of blood. But I felt good because I had endured, I had not let a failure deter me from my ultimate goal. I had persevered and finished what I set out to accomplish. And that felt good.
Maybe it's silly to turn such a small thing like stumbling on a run into a metaphor for persevering in the big things in life, but it helps me. Life is all about choices - you can choose to give up and settle for what is or you can choose to keep going, persevere, and accomplish more.