Lately, I’ve been having some unusual exercise experiences. About a week ago, I wiped out on some wet, green algae near the park. Just yesterday, I experienced a blowout with my shoe! Should I quit exercising?
No- Although I could easily be talked out of it, I really need the exercise. Also, what would I ponder at the end of the day if I didn’t have experiences like this?
How can I grow from green algae? It was like a Three Stooges episode. I was talking one minute, and the next minute I found myself in the mud with bruises- but no blood or broken bones. My poor husband acted like he wasn’t embarrassed, but most watchers were probably laughing. The good part is that I was hurt enough not to really care.
If we live long enough, we’re bound to have experiences that leave us bruised and on the pavement with the algae. That’s what happened to me a few years ago. Like the wet algae, I probably should have seen it coming, but I didn’t. One minute I was happy, and the next minute, I found myself really hurt. What had changed? I was still the same person I had been a minute earlier, but the new information I received sent me crashing and too hurt to care if others had seen it or not.
In both of these episodes, I hurt more the second day than I did the first. Though I fought it, some kind of medicine was in order. Unfortunately, I healed much quicker from the physical fall than I did from the mental assault.
How do we grow when we find ourselves feeling thrown into the green algae? For me, I found comfort in friends (including my husband) who had walked with me for years. They knew my heart, and they knew me. They knew how to help me put one foot in front of the other until the pain went away. To these dear friends, I am forever indebted.
How did the blowout show a different kind of growth? The shoe falling apart while we were exercising was unfortunate but not at all devastating. I was simply walking one minute and the next minute the sole of my shoe was flapping up and down. It was a blowout, and I eventually had to take off the shoe and walk home with one shoe off and one shoe on. Again, my husband pretended not to be embarrassed when I first walked along with the loud sound of my shoe flapping and then without one shoe.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that I spend too much time caring what other people think of me. When things happen, I’m learning how to laugh more. I’m not likely to be perfect, and pretending to be so, just makes it more obvious that I’m not. The fact is, sometimes my shoe is flapping. Everyone can see it, and to ignore it or try to hide it, just accentuates the sound of the flapping. So taking off the shoe and admitting that something is wrong is often the best option.
Now, my side is healing up from the fall and I’ll borrow my daughter’s shoes for the next couple of days, but I’m still going for the exercise. We all know that anything worth doing is worth a few blowouts.
What are some of the ways you’ve become more sweet from something that could have turned you sour?
“A healthy human environment is one in which we try to make sense of our limits, of the accidents that can always befall us and the passage of time which inexorably changes us.” Rowan Williams