You know how I love to rollerblade, right? Possibly more than running. I’m wondering if there’s a rollerblading marathon, because while I’m up to easily running 8 miles, I can’t imagine making it through 26.2. I can, however, see myself doing it on my blades, no problem.
But there’s this ‘thing’ that happens to me most every morning that I skate. And I’m just fascinated by what it all means. I’ll be skating along thinking about stuff, when I’ll ‘trip’. I don’t fall, I catch myself, but it scares the shit out of me. No big deal, right? It’s bound to happen, what with all the sticks and stones scattered in my path. But, I’m convinced that it’s karmic…or something.
Because I usually trip after having a particular sort of thought. Like a disparaging one about myself or a ‘not nice’ one about someone else. Or about an idea that might not serve me very well. Or one that I’m not paying nearly enough attention to.
You see, it feels like ‘something else’ is making me trip. Some force greater than me. Is it my fairy godmother? The guy with the falcon? My conscience? Or would that be my subconscious?
All I know is that it’s so deliberate (not to mention sequential and orderly, ie. thought —> trip), that I’ve now taken to exclaiming, ‘Okay! I got it! For god’s sake!’ after it happens.
Before the fall
I used to rollerblade with only a helmet and wrist/hand guards for protection. My reasoning was that I only need my head and my hands to write (which equals work). And while breaking a leg or shattering a knee cap would be damn inconvenient, it wouldn’t actually destroy me.
One freezing cold morning a few days after this past Christmas, just before dawn – I got a nice big dose of, ‘maybe that wasn’t the best reasoning’. In other words, I fell. Hard.
And it hurt…and my left knee was in bad shape. And while my head and hands still worked, I couldn’t run or rollerblade or bike for a bit, I could hardly walk. And I don’t really do so well when I can’t start my day off with a good sweat.
I immediately learned my lesson. The right knee got all gussied up in a knee-pad the very next time I got on my blades. And I concentrated on my plan of throwing myself in that direction if I fell again – until my left knee had healed enough for me to put its knee-pad on. (It took a good month and luckily I didn’t fall in the interim.)
I make work mistakes. I’ve underbid, I publish and then find typos, I’ve forgotten to change names in contracts. These things happen to the best of us (particularly when we’re moving very, very fast and multi-tasking on steroids, cough, cough). And they bug me. A lot.
I also make life mistakes. I’ve hurt people that I love. I’ve let fear win. I’ve made bad choices. I’ve ignored my heart and disregarded my gut. These things also happen to the best of us. And they also bug me. A lot.
Feeling it everywhere
This morning, I was on my rollerblades, zooming along, perfectly happy…when all of a sudden I remembered, out of the blue, a mistake I made a couple of months ago. Instantly, I’m filled with self-revulsion and what I can only imagine is shame. I start whipping myself as I relive the gaff in my mind and body. It’s a very physical experience, akin to ice water filled with tiny needles running through my body, my chest in particular for some reason.
And then, like clockwork, my left skate hits something (allegedly) and I flail for a few moments. Enough to get me to pay attention. To the fact that, ‘IT’S OVER’ and time to move on. To the fact that if I had fallen, I’d be okay because I’m now fully padded. To the fact that the fact that I’m fully padded means I’m capable of learning my lessons and NOT repeating them. To the fact that it’s time to move ON. To the fact that something wonderful’s taking care of me – that falcon dude, or some goddess…
Or more likely, it’s just me. Laden with forgiveness and determined to walk right to that edge, but never fall all the way down.
Image credit: NikoKunze