Falling down and getting back up

I fell this week.

By that, I mean, I fell.

Literally, fell.


It happened as I was just starting a little run, jog, or “shuffle” as my kids call it. That’s when I spotted a neighbor watering his lawn.

I turned to say hello, focusing on the pretty flowers instead of the sidewalk in front of me.

That’s all it took.

My big ol’ right foot caught a crack in the sidewalk and I launched.

Felt like it took about 10 minutes for me to fly through the air, landing splat on the ground.

The United States Olympic Diving Team is not on the phone trying to recruit me for my gracefulness, as I had not one bit.

Four days later, I’m walking around with a swollen knee devoid of skin covering and scraped elbows, hand, belly and upper thigh.

And as I do, as I clean up my wounds, wonder about that swelling under my kneecap, it occurs to me.

I’m probably not the only one who fell this week.

It’s possible, Dear Reader, you did, too.

Chances are you stayed physically up right on your two appropriately-sized feet. But in this tricky, perilous, entangled world of ours, there are so many ways to fall.

Maybe for you it was falling off that new diet plan you swore was going to be the one. Maybe you surfed that old love on social media. Maybe your kid told you how much they hate you and you can’t really blame them because you’re not a perfect parent. Maybe you got laid off from that job you loved. Maybe it was Tuesday that you couldn’t get out of bed because your grief is just too big. Yeah, that grief that your friends and family figure you should be past by now.

Yeah, you fell.

The answer is “three.”

Just in case you were wondering how many neighbors saw me go splat on my face.

Which is the other part of falling.

The witnesses.

Those neighbors saw me fall also saw me do the only thing I knew to at the time.

I heard my late father’s voice in my head. “Get up and walk it off,” he always said.

And so, I did.

The getting up was about as graceful as the fall. One awkward wobble, in shock, trying to regain my breath which remained knocked out on the sidewalk.

But I got up, darn it. I did.

I share for two simple reasons.

First, you might want to buy stock in bandages and hydrogen peroxide because to see my mess of a body, is to know sales will be booming.

And mainly, I share for you.

You, who also fell, in one way or another, this week. My wish for you is that you were able to get up and walk it off.

And if you weren’t quite able to yet, I hope that walk comes soon.

It doesn’t have to be pretty.

Life is a trip.

We all fall down.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

Daryn Kagan is the author of “What’s Possible! 50 True Stories of People Who Dared To Dream They Could Make a Difference.” Email her at Daryn@darynkagan.com.