Running with Black Ice

I love to run. There’s something so freeing about it. It’s one of those things that makes me feel absolutely alive.

On the contrary, I hate the cold.

Though the winter isn’t my favorite time to be outside, let alone running, but, hey, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, no?

But there’s something beautiful about running through the snow as I’ve recently been reminded by one of my running buddies.

And then there’s black ice.

The fact that we’ll encounter some and we’ll ultimately fall is inevitable. And we’re likely delusional if we think it’ll never happen to us.

Instead of being surprised by the fall, should we not simply expect that it’ll happen to us?

Today was my day to fall. I bit it pretty hard.

It’s extra amusing because my running buddy and I were chatting about one of my favorite topics these days, balance. And what it’s like to maintain balance. Are we always balanced?

We shot thoughts, ideas, and questions back and forth to each other as we ran over slippery and – in some places – very unbalanced sidewalks.

Having come off a nice wooded trail I scaled a snowbank only to find myself on my side shortly after landing on a spot of black ice that, of course, I didn’t see.

I hopped up quickly.

“Are you okay, MCK?”

Pain was all over the right side of my body, but I responded, “Yep, no sweat.”

Thinking back on it now, I wonder what hurt more – my body or my ego?

Had I gotten too cocky from 30-40 minutes of running through the elements and striding across icy paths with no issues? Not to mention all those other days that I’d come home without bruising of any kind.

Or was it just meant to be?

We all fall.

We all encounter black ice in our lives.

And it can hurt the most when we least expect it.

Though, from experience, I’m sure the pain will be much worse tomorrow 😉

But as I ran back, there was one thing I kept running through my mind, how long until I get back to “normal” running again?

How much extra caution will I take from this moment forward?

How long will I choose to be on edge? How long will I choose to not be my normal running self?

And how do we all think more proactively, pre-fall? It it possible to expect this to happen without “expecting” per se?

In other words, do we need to live our lives bracing ourselves for the times when we’ll fall on the ice we don’t see?

It will happen. We will fall.

Rather than regularly altering our natural stride on the chance we will fall, why not just cross that bridge when we get there?

And when we do, what then? How long will we allow our bodies and our egos to limp along?

What does it take to get back to that normal stride? Our regular balance?

Or are do you prefer to put your fear of black ice above the freedom that comes with letting go and fully experiencing the everyday moments that make us feel most alive?

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One thought on “Running with Black Ice

  1. Oh no, MCK! Sorry about that, and I hope your bruises will fade fast. My experience is that I am more cautious, maybe even afraid, for a little while after a fall – maybe 3 weeks? Then, as my bruises fade, I have forgotten all about it – except for a good story to tell, how that flying leap I did would have done a Russian Olympic gymnast proud, or how all the hospitals in Shanghai said if I was an emergency, I’d have to wait hours for an x-Ray, but if they simply gave me an appointment as a non-emergency, I could have my x-Ray in a few minutes ( haha, Chinese sense of black humor, or what?) Black ice, black humor – maybe you need running shoes with a better grip? I learned to take my reading glasses off when I am walking down stairs….. Live and learn!

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