“when you fall down, just get up again.” – Lindsey vonn

Sundays I’m usually riddled with anxiety. It’s hard to know that you are ready to spend an entire day “off” just getting ready for the week ahead. Today, I had a lot on my mind so running was not really a choice, it was a necessity. On a day that is full of grocery shopping, laundry, packing lunches, packing snow bags for school, homework, Mass (online), reading, dinner, and many times, work, if I don’t carve in time for myself to run, these things aren’t easily accomplished.

I woke up at 7:45 a.m. to let the dogs out and when I threw open the curtains, there was a fresh snowfall and it was still coming down. I asked “Alexa” what the weather would be like and she said snow through the morning.

Hmmm…do I go to the grocery store first or on my run? I went to change into my running clothes and decided that hitting the grocery store first would be best. But first, the kids wanted breakfast. Bacon, pancakes, and fresh fruit were served before 9:00.

On my way home from the store, there were a few runners out. Jealous. I couldn’t wait to head out. My husband was kind enough to meet me at the door and helped me unpack the groceries. He reminded me that if I don’t head out now, I might not get out. I couldn’t find my running gloves, so I searched around the house, finally locating them in my purse. Why were they in there?  Ugh. Henry told me he wanted a snack. A load of laundry needed to be switched. The last person who used the toilet paper in the upstairs bathroom didn’t replace it. There was a pool of water on the hardwood floor near the front door after the kids came in from playing in the snow. Their winter clothes were all on the floor. I still didn’t eat breakfast. I should try to pee before I leave, but oh shoot, there isn’t toilet paper.

“You’d better go,” my husband said to me again.

Things come up. They always, always come up. The jobs here are never done. And even on the days when I prep every meal for the week and think that I’ve folded my last towel or shirt, there is always another one ready to be washed.

So, I put it all aside and I headed out. The snow on the sidewalk was thick and untouched. It was the perfect snow for running. About a half a mile in, I rounded the corner to make my way to the next block and I slid. It was slight and I was aware enough to catch myself.

Oh, I wish I had my spikes on.

Well, I wasn’t planning on going long. Two miles, maybe. But the further I ran, the better I felt. I shifted from the street, which was only wet, back on to the sidewalks that were plowed. Another quick slip right before I hit mile two. Again, I was able to catch myself. I ran through the park and back into my neighborhood and took a route that would get me to a little over a mile and I would finish at a 5k. By this time, I was running the “snow shuffle” which meant that I didn’t lift my feet off of the ground, I just slid them slightly ahead of me with each step.

When I reached my block, I was at 2.94 miles. Runners understand that it’s not quite right to cut it off at the 2.94 mile marker, you have to cut it off at 3.00 miles even (or slightly over, if possible to reach the 5k distance.) I passed my house and went down the block until I reached an even 3.00. When I crossed the street and made my way up a slightly elevated driveaway of a neighbor two houses down from me, I slipped. This time, I went down. I went down on my right knee. I didn’t waste any time rising to my feet and walked to my house. I didn’t feel any pain or blood, so I took this as a good sign that the snow acted like a cushion to break my fall.

I came inside and my knee was fine. Everything was fine. This isn’t the first time I fell on a run and it certainly won’t be my last. I’ve fallen in the winter and I’ve fallen in the summer (more times, actually!)

Lately, I feel like I’ve been falling a lot. Falling or failing…I guess they’re both in the same. Keeping up with what life is requesting of me lately has been like trying to keep my head above water while holding weights in both hands. Something is going to have to drop if I’m going to pull through.

Sometimes you are sent out in the worst of conditions in order to return home with the greatest outcome. Out of all of the lessons in my life, running continues to be the greatest teacher. 

Today’s lesson was to remember that when you fall, you don’t have a choice but to get back up.