When you learned how to ride your bike you had to learn this technique , climbing that super cool tree that looks so tempting to climb? You had to learn. As a matter of fact reflect on any adolescent adventure you have experienced and I am sure you are familiar with The Art of Falling Down.
I have realized throughout my adult life that falling down is an integral part of the process to climbing to the top of that proverbial tree in your life or cycling that 100 miles for the day; waking up the following day and pushing for the next 100 miles. By accepting the fact falling down is a natural part of the ultimate success we all seek in life. During the process of reflection about this topic I have identified 3 beneficial attributes that a majority of the world would consider “setbacks” I embrace as my growth tools. They are (in no order of importance) Determination, Fearlessness & Healing. Let’s take a look at each trait and the opportunity within them.
1. Determination must be intentionally cultivated through the experience of “falling down”.
While cycling for 10 hours straight I began to lose a bit of focus, as a result disorientation caused me to lose my balance in a 30 mph wind gust resulting in a crash. (SMH) I have crashed before in this manner; however instead of becoming frustrated I became more determined to find an even more substantial inner balance. I have always perceived these mooments as pushing through to the next mile marker in my life. They are literal opportunities to test your conviction to complete the goal and dig just a little bit deeper.
The Opportunity: Increase One’s Determination- When faced with a challenging situation be honest about the mistake you may have made and resolve to intentionally work to overcome it.
2. Fearlessness is a trait we should all seek to acquire. I would never consider myself to be a fearful individual. While flying down the side of the mountain in Mont Eagle, TN I reached speeds of 40+ mph with a fully loaded Trek cycle, I learned new levels of insight into the meaning of Fearlessness. While experiencing the thrill of the rush of wind in my face that I understood that my life was not my own; I was merely experiencing this magical moment in order to share with others. This perspective magically released the fear of holding on that I occasionally felt.
While training for The Cycle of Peace I had more than my share of scary moments in the field. One particular instance occurred on Lake Shore Drive; my back tire spins out on gravelly terrain in a sharp curve. I become airborne and must adjust in midair so that I land on my forearm and not my wrist. When my 200lb land on my right hand I see it fold back on to itself and know that I must block the pain that is surely to come. By managing the pain it would allow me to get back on the cycle, tape the injured area and deal with it at a more appropriate time. I realized that the concept of letting nothing; not even the threat of a gruesome accident hinder my approach to training and preparedness.
The Opportunity: Erase your mind of unfortunate occurrences. Do not allow these weak thoughts any space in the fertile soil of your mind lest it become infested by these weeds of F.E.A.R. (False Evidence Appearing Real)
3. Healing from the act of falling down is what I find the most inspirational components of this process. To feel agony of twisted muscles, knotted & sore body parts & limbs contorted into unnatural positions. The aspect of healing intentionally from this is the most miraculous process you can experience. I have had moments while trekking through the back country of Kentucky with a torn Achilles became aggravated and the pain was excruciating! When you have no support team and you are alone you must learn to tell your body what it needs to do. If you are intentional and prepared your body will obey. Repeatedly falling down has shown me how to become the Commander in Chief of my physical recuperation. To have the blessing to witness my broken and torn body mend itself back to a state of strength you must give all glory to God for these amazing gifts.
The Opportunity: When we fall down it can be perceived as a tragedy or an opportunity. Let us embrace the opportunity to embrace the automatic healing process Gd has in place to bring you back to your place of strength but you must first accept and dwell within the pain in order to grow from it. So go out and live life without the apprehension of falling down but with the anticipation of the lessons you will learn when you do!