Entry Title

My Fall

A couple of days ago, I took a major fall.  I hit the ground HARD as I was taking a light jog. 


I had shared this news with friends and dear yoga students this week. And, I am sorry it caused alarm.  What I meant to convey is that I had a shock to my system that was a lightning rod experience.  It was a noticeable event that made me very alert.  Thankfully, I was not seriously hurt.  Here’s the story. 


My plan was to enjoy a sunrise mellow run around Jenny Lake at the base of the Tetons.  As encountering a bear is quite common in Grand Teton National Park, I held bear spray and an iPhone in each hand.  (I played light music so the bears could hear me coming.)   
 
It was a gorgeous morning and I appreciated the solitude.  The sun began to rise and I marveled at how golden the light was.  My heart did a little dance as I felt the joy of the morning meet the beauty of this place. 
 
Rocks and stumps lined the path and I paid attention, stopping to walk when it was difficult to navigate.  It was a leisurely pace where I could enjoy the lake and the beauty around me. 
 
Then, the toe of my shoe caught the top of a rock and I felt the immediate and impactful result:  I hit the ground via right knee, left elbow and left hand, making firm contact on top of other rocks that emerged from the path.   The bear spray in my one hand cracked against a rock and my phone in the other got tossed on the dusty ground beside me. 


I laid there taking stock of the coursing pain.  I absorbed the sensations in high alert.  My limbic system had been throttled.  As the moments went on, I noticed the throbbing in my hand, the cut on my finger, the blow to the elbow.  My tights had a big hole at the knee where my knee had gashed against the rock.     


“Here I am in that awful place of being hurt,” went through my head.  DANGER, I felt. Primarily, I processed the danger to my system and secondarily, danger for me being alone in the wilderness.  


I finally got up and walked the rest of the way around the lake to my car which ended up being 3.5 miles further.  I was focused on getting out, back to my car, and not on my injuries which I knew weren’t too bad. 


Later, I tended to my wounds. As the day progressed into night and into the next day, I was pleased to observe the dissipation of the pain, the reduction of swelling, and a general lessening of swelling and sensation. 


Mentally, I was grappling with it all.  I revisited the cracking sound of the bear spray and the thumping of my body against the jagged rocks and dusty ground.  I reviewed my responses to the pain and how much it had consumed me.  Wow, it had been a shocker. 


My extreme aches of yesterday continued to improve.  I could walk and hold things better than the day before. I was (and am) so thankful for what I can do today.  The body has a miraculous ability to heal.  


I was lucky things hadn’t been worse, for sure.  But more than anything, my biggest takeaway was that of awe for being alive.

  

I had had a shock to the system which anyone who ever hurts themselves has.  The danger and high alert signals take one out of “business as usual” for the body.  The gift of the experience is the sense of wonder it left me.  I was in danger and now I’m ok.  What a miracle.   


I tell my friends and yoga students that I took a big fall this week.  What I really want to express is that I had a moving experience that despite the scrapes and bruises, has left me with a grand sense of awe.   


Things turned out well for me this time.  I am grateful for that.