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Last Wednesday, as I was on my daily journey to work I was stopped when a dog ran in front of me and into traffic. I stopped and watched, thinking maybe it was afraid of my longboard, the sound of those wheels on pavement can drive a dog crazy, that I know. But instead it sized me up and continued out into traffic. Luckily the only car nearby was paying attention and stopped while the owner scooped up the little escapee. I breathed deeply, without realizing I must have stopped for I don't know how long before that.
It was the first little blip in the day that brought my awareness to being grateful to be alive, as well as the gratitude of having an amazing dog that I knew was safe at home. As well as the gratitude to not have had to witness a dog get hit by a car. I've been there before, always a traumatic situation for everyone involved of course.
I continued on my journey on my longboard, and just as I was crossing the street, a couple was also crossing in the middle of the crosswalk leaving very little room to hit the clear gradient of the sidewalk ramp. I thought I had enough space (you can tell where this is going I know), but alas my rear right wheel caught the lip of the curb and I bit it hard forward onto my hands and right knee. I don't know if I flipped, but I could feel all my ultimate frisbee instincts kick in on high gear like I was laying out for a disc. Not near as pretty though I must say. And as my backpack re-established itself on my back and I realized what had happened a plethora of what I would have to call instincts jumped in all at the same time.
1. Retrieve board
This was number one priority it seemed once survival was quickly acknowledged as NOT being at stake. I checked for cars first, then grabbed my board as it was slowly teasing it's way into the intersection. As I think back, I'm sure everyone in traffic was watching what was going on and there was no doubt that the board was missed in the ingredient list of this surprise accident recipe.
2. Stay cool and act like nothing happened and everything is OK
After I grabbed my board I cooly dropped it onto the ground, stepped back on it and rode as if this happened all the time. Responding with a smile and a thumbs up to the woman in her car asking out her window if I was OK.
This response always floors me when I look at it after the fact (the only time I seem to have access to it) How quickly it comes into play, like it's been pre-programmed to such a great degree that I have no control over it. Like being vulnerable in front of people is somehow not allowed? I see this in kids (mine and others) all the time, and try to encourage their ability to accept help and give themselves time to feel. And here I was just tucking it away.
3. Hold on till it's safe
I knew I was but a couple of yards from work. There, there I could make some noise, cry if I needed to, let my body go through it's 'shakes', it's pain, I could acknowledge it fully and safely. Alone. There I could listen to my body and do whatever it needed me to, I promised it I would give it that space if it could just hold on for a little while longer....
4. The release
I arrived at work, turned everything on, got everything ready to be "normal". I look back at this now and find it funny that I didn't just listen to my body's needs right away. Maybe I needed to know I had no more responsibility to do other stuff, so it could have my full attention? Or maybe a part of me just wanted to believe everything was normal still. Regardless of the reason, when all was prepared for the day, alone at work I gave my body full permission to just feel and express whatever it wanted.
I was then able to surrender to what my whole body needed. I laid down and asked my body what vibration it needed and then I made that sound, then the next, and the next. Feeling better with every full exhale. Inviting in the next sound until the resonance 'felt' less discordant and more smooth.
With the love and attention I gave myself, as well as Arnika, trammel, laser, a Phil massage and Kinesiotape application it felt much better for the weekend of Ultimate I had planned since last year (thank the Gods). And again, on the fields I took a hit to the chest that rocked me, but I kept playing. That hit I still feel, that hit I didn't let myself feel at the time, because it felt more important to keep playing, to keep going like nothing happened.
I'm learning, we all are. I'm constantly acknowledging and laughing about the parts of me that respond in ways I'm not necessarily proud of, but know are a part of me. Pre-programmed importance that I may not have consciously chosen, but is inherently engrained in my instinctive responses. The most important thing I've come to realize? That it can't stop there.
I ACTUALLY LEARN BY EMBRACING AND LOVING THOSE PARTS OF ME THAT I STRUGGLE TO LOVE AND RELATE TO.
That seems to be the most powerful learning adventure of them all. It's on that journey that I keep growing, and loving and learning to BE ME more.
Hope you enjoyed the share. If you're inspired, share more of you with your world too!!