If You Fall Seven Times, Stand Up Eight

“And why do we fall, Master Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves back up again.” – Alfred, via Batman Begins

I wish Alfred had been with me this week.

I debated sharing this rather embarrassing experience, but I think it’s worth telling my story in hopes that others pay more attention.

I’ve been a runner for some years and have experienced all sorts of courses and weather — trail runs, half-marathons in the pouring rain, marathon training in snowy conditions.

It was a cool morning, below freezing, and the roads looked slicked but I noticed nothing treacherous. I was no more than 100 ft out of my front door down the path by my house when WHAM. I landed knees-first, followed by my face and the rest of my flailing body. I slipped on a slick blind spot. My first reaction was, “What the f*$!@?” Followed by trying to regroup and act natural as an onlooker asked about my condition. Clearly, it was a nasty tumble. I might have been a contendor on America’s Funniest Home Videos.

I managed to shake it off and limp up slowly, and somehow continued to finish my run. My body was in shock. Obviously not my best run — very slow and steady. When I arrived home, I realized I more beat-up than I first thought. I removed my running tights to see the damage to my knees and thighs.

Good news – It could have been worse and I’m not badly hurt. My Nike Full-Length Running Tights held through the fall with no rips. If not for my tights I would have seriously messed up my legs.

Bad news – My ego is bruised. I’ll be the spokesperson for Neosporin this week.

What’s the moral of this story?
– Falls happen to the best of us. I told a few friends about my run-in with the pavement and many others have had similar experiences, even in perfect running conditions.
– Be careful if you run in sleeves with cuffins (those sleeve pockets that keep your hands warm). I was fortunate enough to have my Nike running gloves on and they helped me protect my hands and brace me during the fall. Had my hands been tied-up in my cuffins it would have been worse.
– Get up and keep going. Maybe not the same day, but don’t be scared. You have to shake off your nerves and get back at it again. Running timid will only end up hurting your body further.
– Stay alert. Almost goes without saying, but pay attention to your surroundings.

And may I send a big thank you Nike. The gloves and the tights saved me.

Sound off — have you ever taken a spill?

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7 responses to “If You Fall Seven Times, Stand Up Eight

  1. Running in the dark can hazardous to your knees. Yes. I’ve fallen running in the dark. No damage except to my ego. I think getting back up and running helps the soreness. Welcome to the club

  2. Yikes, that’s not a fun way to start your morning…let alone a run! I have fallen once in my years of running (knock on wood!). It was on a hot summer day and my legs were getting super tired so they found the closest crack in the sidewalk resulting in the rest of my body on the ground. At least you can say it was the ice and not a crack 🙂

  3. Nothing to be embarrassed about! I ate pavement twice in spectacular fashion during my last marathon training cycle. Both times I broke my fall with my hand held water bottle. The second fall was on my last long run of 8 miles before the race – I fell at about mile 7.5. Walked the rest 🙂

  4. I took two major spills during my trail race last weekend. I literally have a golf ball size bump with a nasty black and blue on my right knee. Funny thing, was all worth it to dominate the trails.

  5. I can’t imagine any runner can avoid falls. Sometimes I keep my gloves on just in case if the trail is uneven. If you can use your hands the fall tends to make less damage

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