As the famous philosopher of Mike and Mike in the Morning, Mike Golic , once said, “What matters isn’t that you got knocked down; what matters is how you get up” After hearing those inspirational words, I asked myself, “Was it really necessary for me to actually get “knocked down” by a TRUCK to learn this lesson? Couldn’t we have chosen a less painful and traumatic metaphor? Mike Golic was talking about football, of course, but I couldn’t help but think what a great message for life. Lets face it, we all get knocked down in life. Sometimes it is our own stupid choices that hurl us face down onto the pavement. Other times it is someone else’s selfish or careless actions that cause us to hit the ground hard, many times without warning. So, how do you get back up when you find yourself on the ground bleeding from the road rash? I had a multitude of emotions in the moments after I was hit by the truck. My first thought as I was flying through the air was, ” *&^%$!, this isn’t going to end well” Once I hit the ground and Newton’s laws of physics had come to an end, I realized I was ultimately going to be OK; bruised and banged up, but everything was still attached. My second thought was, ” So this is what it feels like to have an elephant step on your head” Then, I was MAD! I am going to blame it on the head injury, but I said things in a tone and manner that I never would have before my head had been smashed on the pavement. (don’t tell anyone, but it felt really good ) Then my survival mode kicked in. “This jerk is not going to ruin my accomplishment. I am on mile 81 of a 100 mile ride I barely trained for. He is not going to steal my bragging rights…I am checking my 100 mile ride off my bucket list if it kills me….I mean it’s for charity for goodness sakes!” So, I refused medical help and tried to finish the ride. (tried being the operative word here.) Not the smartest move I have ever made. In hindsight it was just an extension of how I have dealt with the last few years. “Put your head down, dig deep, and keep going. It hurts, you don’t like it, but just finish the job. No one wants to hear you whine about how hard you have it.” It’s good, I guess, that I keep getting up when I get knocked down. But, lately I have been asking, “How AM I getting up?” Am I getting up stronger? Am I getting up wiser? Am I getting up with new motivation to succeed, or am I getting up a victim? Have I learned the lessons I needed to learn from hitting the ground? Or, like after my bike accident, am I just getting up mad? As I look back over the things in these past years that have knocked me down, I have had to ask myself those questions. In some instances I have gotten up stronger and wiser. I’m pretty sure I have learned most of the lessons I was supposed to learn. But unfortunately, as a result of some of the events that have thrown me to the ground,I have gotten up a victim; doubting myself and my abilities. In a sense, I am still lying in the street bruised and bloody with a cracked helmet and a giant hole in my bike shorts; which is a whole other story for another time. ( I am still trying to figure out how the embarrassment of that will translate into pain and suffering in my law suit… just joking if you are a lawyer for the defendant and are reading this) As a result of some of my “crashes”, I am afraid to get back on the bike; figuratively and now literally. How about you? How do you get back up after you have been knocked down? At the the very least, I hope when you do get up that someone is nice enough to tell you about the huge hole in your bike shorts.
The following was a helpful read to me by Mike Robbins:
Below is a list of some things to appreciate when we “fall down” in life. Obstacles, failures and challenges can:
- Give us important feedback about where and who we are
- Provide an opportunity for us to be courageous
- Allow us to wake up and notice all the good things that are happening that we hadn’t been paying attention to
- Give us a great opportunity for learning, growth and improvement
- Allow us to learn to appreciate ourselves, even when things don’t turn out exactly as we want them to
- Give us an opportunity to get in touch with, take responsibility for and express our real emotions in an authentic way
- Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up. -Author unknown
- “Fall seven times, stand up eight. ~Japanese Proverb
- The race is not always to the swift, but to those who get up and keep on running. ~Author unknown, in reference to Ecclesiastes 9:11, “I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.