Part two of two.
Part 2: After the Fall
In rollerblading, as in life, it isn’t a question of if you will fall, it’s simply a question of when.
I recently fell. Not for the first time, but in a significant way. I broke my wrist and I knew it immediately. I got myself back up on my skates and headed back to the car.
Skate, skate, skate, pain, pain, pain, skate, skate, skate, until I made it.
I drove myself to an emergency room and they confirmed it. “Your wrist is broken, you need to see a doctor.” Apparently emergency rooms aren’t where you go to find doctors. Who knew.
So, how did I manage to have such a significant fall in the first place? Simple. I wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing. My mind was elsewhere. I took my focus off of the road. I suddenly realized that I had reached a point where I needed to turn. It was either go straight and end up on a major road with traffic or turn right and stay in the park. Impulsively, without thinking or planning my maneuver, I twisted my body. My skates where pointing right but my momentum was still going straight ahead, and since wheels don’t roll sideways, down I went.
Requiem for the juggler
Isn’t this what so often happens in life? You take your focus away from some subject—your relationship, your job, your school—and continue on without you even noticing what is going on around you. Then, before you know it, there is an event that requires your input. You need to act or react, but you aren’t paying attention. You aren’t thinking. You don’t have a plan and you don’t have time to come up with one, either. What do you do? If we were jugglers, there would be balls falling all around us.
I’m not the first person to point out that “It isn’t what you do when you fall, it’s what you do afterward that that matters most.”
I found a doctor. I had to have surgery to set the bone in my wrist with pins and I was in cast for four weeks. I endured physical therapy to regain the range of motion in my wrist. There were compilations along the way and I had to have a second surgery and even more physical therapy.
During my recovery, a number of people had snide comments for me: “I guess you’ll be selling your rollerblades now”, “No more rollerblading for you”, “I see more broken bones in your future.”
I had to ask myself, why did so many people want me to give up something that I enjoy so much? Why are people such defeatists? What would they have me do?
What would they do? Sit quietly in a padded room all day, never doing anything, fearful of experiencing any joy for fear of falling or failing?
I truly believe that these people weren’t intentionally trying to be negative. They didn’t see themselves as rude, harmful, and potentially damaging, but sarcasm and mockery has no place in positive, healthy relationships.
Here’s a thought: Don’t be a fucking dick. It does not look good on you.
You are supposed to support a person’s recovery. You aren’t supposed to try to make them feel like a fool for falling in the first place – and by falling, I mean any lapse of judgement or mistake. Most of the time, such lack of judgement is not something we would choose to do.
As for me, I’m still in recovery, but that is not going to stop me from doing the things that bring me pleasure. I am back rollerblading again, cautiously rebuilding my confidence.
I’m not afraid of falling again. I learned the cause and I won’t do it again. I knew what I had to do in order to rescue myself from the situation. I remembered what I had to do in order to recover. I know full well that I am capable of doing everything that it takes in order to rebound. And … I will do it all again if I need to.
Life is for living
Is it “life” if you’re not living it? I don’t mean taking excessive risks, I mean being an active participant; I mean paying attention to all of your relationships, giving them their due. After all, you choose your relationships just as much as they choose you.
So, if you’re in a relationship, isn’t it because you “want” to be in it? I understand that just like the juggler, the more relationships you have, the more difficult it is to multitask, and the less time you can spend on each one. So, think carefully when choosing your relationships as choices are commitments. Be sure that you have the time, are willing to expend the effort, and are able to make the sacrifices necessary for the relationship to be “Good Together”. Otherwise, you should not enter into that particular arrangement or relationship.
Was I getting the maximum pleasure out of rollerblading by not paying attention to what I was doing? The obvious answer is a resounding “no”. So, what was the point of rollerblading at all, then? All it managed to accomplish was getting me hurt. I didn’t respect the relationship, and I paid the price.
This week’s challenge (you won’t need to break any bones for this one, promise!): take some time and think about some of your own relationships. Answer these questions:
Are you active in your relationships?
Are the other participants in your relationships active, passive, or missing in action altogether?
Are you focusing on the correct things in your relationships? (The here and now, as opposed to the there-and-then (in other words, either past or future).
Are you juggling too much? If so, something has to give. What’s it going to be?
Good Together: your guide to healthy, happy relationships
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