Monday “What Went Well”: Crashed into a brick wall. And won.

Oh, life. You humor me so much sometimes. One moment we’re just rocking out to great tunes and running down a mid-autumn road in the sun-dappled morning the day after a big windstorm…and the next moment, we’re kissing a brick wall because we just tripped on one of those fallen tree branches from said windstorm – and we live to tell the tale.

Ah, a tree-lined street. It all looks so innocent, doesn't it? Add in some fallen tree branches from a windstorm and, well, things get dicey. Read on. (Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
Ah, a tree-lined street. It all looks so innocent, doesn’t it? Add in some fallen tree branches from a windstorm and, well, things get dicey. Read on. (Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

This is a story about safety, and about why being strong counts in real life.

First, safety: I have no idea why I walked outside yesterday for that run without my cell phone. I almost always have it with me when I run alone, for exactly the reason I needed it yesterday: once in a while, stuff happens. I was running happily when all of a sudden, my foot hit a branch – and suddenly, I was no longer in control of my body. I skidded, fell to my right side, and hit a brick retaining wall by the sidewalk. My right arm braced the fall, so today I have a seriously sore right arm, but no fractures or head injuries. A few scratches on my chin from where I hit the sidewalk, but I think because I braced the fall, I didn’t make contact anywhere near as hard as I would have if my body wasn’t strong enough to fight the speed of that fall (I really was hurtling through space for a moment there), and to win.

But I couldn’t keep running and I was about a mile from home. There are many Good Samaritans out there, and about four of them stopped to see if I was okay. I wound up accepting a ride home from one of them who stayed with me to make sure I was okay and let me use his cell phone to call my husband. (Thank you, Mark in the black BMW. Much appreciated.)

So, cell phone. Check. I won’t forget that again.

But even more importantly…I really do think my strength played a role in what didn’t happen.

What didn’t happen: crashing head-first into that brick wall. That’s not just scary; that’s potentially deadly. You hit your head, you get to an emergency room, stat. Brain hematomas can kill you.

I could literally feel my right arm and shoulder fighting the force of the fall so that I didn’t hit the brick wall with my head. For a split second, I thought I’d broken my arm (in reality I just strained every muscle in my right side, so today I’m mighty sore). But in the next moment, I realized there wasn’t really any lasting damage. A couple of really cool skinned-up knees that I’m sure will turn into lovely multicolored bruises before too long, but other than that? It was all okay in the end.

I stopped running. I got home safely. I counted all of my lucky stars (there were quite a few of them). I even made blueberry-banana pancakes for breakfast with my hubby, bum shoulder and all. I’ll be really chill this week about my exercise – I’ll probably go for a walk today. (A slow, deliberate one, watching out for tree branches.) And my body will heal.

Remember: cell phones, and stay strong. You don’t know what you’re preparing for with all of that fitness training. Yesterday was a day when being strong mattered.

Yesterday’s Every48 workout: I was about a mile and a half into that RUN when circumstances overtook my ability to finish. Bummer. Today I’ll take a walk midday. Looking forward to getting outside again.

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