Once or twice a year here in wintertime Boulder we have a warm “spring-teaser” day followed by a light, overnight snowstorm that mostly melts as it hits the ground and creates this unique phenomenon. On the morning after such weather, Boulderites are presented with miles and miles of bike paths that have turned into ice skating rinks!
This morning’s run was quite a precarious one indeed. Three years ago, on a day like today, I would have opted for the treadmill, in order to accomplish some expected “average 7:10 pace distance run” or even faster paced conglomerate of speedy intervals. But today, having no real goal to accomplish and feeling the 30 degree sunshine calling my name, I opted for the icy paths.
The surface of the path was mostly crunchy, textured ice not much different from running on a frozen muddy trail, but every couple of miles there was a patch of beautifully perfect, untouched, smooth, slick ice, which was incredibly challenging to navigate. Over the first couple of these patches, I gingerly tiptoed my way across successfully. I must have been overconfident by the third because as I stepped somewhat confidently on the ice, sssssshhhhhhhlop! There went my footing! “Oh no, I’m mid-air, how does this turn out good? Keep my arm in. Seize-up that chronically dislocating right shoulder muscle. Take it on the bum, take it on the bum. Please, shoulder stay in.” WHAM. Right hand first, then most of the force on my right butt cheek. Evaluating the damage…. palms burning, bum sore, right shoulder……still in socket! Immediately bouncing back on my feet, I cheered, “YES!!” A smile overtook my face and a happy, unconquerable mood lifted my heart. I felt like a rock star! I pumped up the tunes on my iPod and excitedly ran onward.
A few miles later, I thought I was being extra careful, when I turned a corner and SWOOSH! There I went again. SPLAT. This time my bum took the brunt of it and I slid at least six feet across the path rink. Awesome! I am SO awesome! Oh man, I wish someone had got that one on video. My arms flailing, a leap, and a six-foot bum slide. And my shoulder stayed in its socket again!! Sweet.
Why don’t I always celebrate falls like that? Why not be grateful for the incredible ride and the epic show? Oh wait, I do celebrate setbacks. And I am grateful for the growth. The true me is anyway. Maybe these past few years I’ve been so set back and struggled so much that I’ve lost a little strength in my resilience, but I’m ready to get back to the true Nan Kennard. The Nan who falls on her butt and immediately jumps back up to celebrate.