There’s nothing like an injury that hurts like a MF to remind you you’re human. In fact, it reminds me that most things need to remind me I’m human.
Our pantry door crashed to the ground, finding, somewhere in the tumble, my bare foot. And although, whatever hit I took, yielded considerable pain, it lasted only a few minutes. And I wince at the thought that if I had just stood one inch to my left, life would be very different as I write this right now.
In those few minutes, as I writhed in pain, my mind meandered through the millions upon millions of miracles that happen every day just to keep my body upright and cognizant. Every instant represents a potential for everything in our lives change, I thought. It wasn’t a Debbie-downer moment, but a profoundly appreciative flash.
I wouldn’t be accused of not being grateful. But it gets left behind in the managing of life and dreams and shitty things that happen. But as I held the bag of ice to my toe, and washed the blood off my hand, I got super grateful for Ziplock bags and towels and soap… and it just kept going from there.
One of my favorite things about me right now is my reaction time. I attribute this superpower to my sport of trail running. The trails I choose are technical, loose, rocky, up-and-down terrain. Every time I run, I get to practice my righting reactions, and equilibrium reactions and proprioception. My Golgi tendons and my muscle spindles practice contracting and releasing with just the right tension; my eyes tell my brain to tell my feet to land just in the right spot, and if they don’t, my sensory perceptions tell my body to reply in such a way to keep me moving forward.
This didn’t happen overnight. It happened with consistent, unwavering commitment to not get injured. in reality, however, only in hindsight can I see the benefits of my actions. Every time I ventured to the trails, I gambled with my well-being in favor of building a stronger body and mind, and now I can say it’s paying off.
My husband and I experience pretty good health. But it didn’t happen overnight. It happened with consistent, unwavering commitment to not getting sick. We have accumulated decades-worth of gambling our time, resources, and energy toward making healthy choices that will set us up to avoid illness.
So, I’m sitting there, hyper-ventilating from the pain, thinking: Bodies heal… and my toe will too! And as humans are quarantining one another, trying to avoid a virus everyone says is different than any of the other thousands of virus’ they fight every day, I thought if everyone chose health — selected spinach over donuts; exercise over TV; prayer and meditation over shopping, for example – maybe, if another virus welcomes itself on the planet, next time, my husband and I would be enjoying coffee with friends on Easter Sunday instead of watching a sermon on line.