My route is about 20 blocks. I can do it in less than 30 minutes. I walk 10 blocks to warm up my sleepy self and then I run back. Cooling down with a walk for the last block. I've done this several times now and I like the distance and pace. It feels good. I'm not pushing too hard but I come back sweaty and energized.
So, I'm starting to wake up and feel good just about the time I hit my 10 block mark. I turn around and start my jog back home. There's a hint of sunrise coming but it's still really dark. I'm mindful of all of the uneven surfaces as I go along. My path is not a pretty one. It's a business residential neighborhood of St. Petersburg. I run on the sidewalk along Central Avenue which like most St. Pete sidewalks, is filled with cracked concrete from tree roots and then there's our lovely hexagon pavers that like to stick out at inconvenient angles.
I've got about three blocks to go. I'm totally into it. TV on the Radio is rocking. I'm feeling energized. I'm thinking about The Desire Map, my core desired feelings and how I want to feel in my body. And this is IT. Empowered, free, connected, limitless, strong, dedicated, lit up. Adrenaline kicks in and I decide to push a little harder and sprint for my last block.
And then it happens. My right toe hits one of those hexagon pavers and just like in the movies, all goes to slow motion and I'm saying, "oh shiiiiiiiiiiit..." as I catch air and land on my hands and knees, rolling to my left side. Fuck. That's the only appropriate response at this time. With lightning reflexes, I hop up like nothing happened. Because why? Someone might see me fall behind a bush at 6 a.m. in the dark? Unlikely. My hands and knees sting. It's still too dark to really tell how bad it is. I can walk, so I know I'm OK. It really could have been worse. I'm waking, I'm shaking. The tears start rolling. More from my bruised ego than anything else. Plus that place within that says, "Why me? Why does this shit happen every time I try to do something good for myself?" Even though that's really not true. I do plenty of good things for myself, without injury and mayhem.
Will I run again in the morning before sunrise?
Not sure yet. ... I'm pretty sure it was just my turn to fall.
I enter my back gate. I pause in my meditation garden and give thanks, for everything. My ability to run. My ability to fall. And my ability to get back up again. I limp back into my quiet house. Everyone is still asleep. I'm thankful that I have more time to tend to myself. I go into the bathroom and discover my left palm is pretty shredded. I thought my knees were protected by my pants but no such luck. My Aztec print yoga pants have a big hole in the left knee with a pretty nasty abrasion under it. I get into a cool shower and as the water hits my scrapes, the stinging pain makes me feel instant compassion for my children for all of the times that I forced them into a bath after a good fall. My boy comes in the bathroom all sleepy eyed and irritable, as always, right as I'm about to dress my wounds. While he wants me to pick him up, he's very concerned about my boo boos and gives me a bit of a break. He watches as I carefully pour peroxide over my hand and knee and dry myself off. I apply my favorite healing salve that my mama makes, Skin Soothing Salve. We call it Grayga salve (Grayga is the name that the grandkids gave my mother). If you can't have your mom there to take care of you, it's awesome to at least have a healing salve that she made with love. I covered everything with huge band-aids, which I felt grateful for having on hand.
The morning moves forward. My daughter pitches in to help make the lunches but mostly, I just have to jump back in and get ready for work. Life goes on. My knees are bruised, I'm a little sore all over and I won't be able to give a massage (part of what I do for work) until the open sores on my hand have healed. Will I run again in the morning before sunrise? Not sure yet. I'm not even sure if better visibility would have even made a difference. I'm pretty sure it was just my turn to fall. But I can tell you, I will not stop finding ways to engage with my body through exercise. I'll always pick myself up, brush myself off and start all over again.