I was so excited, I downloaded the Trail Link app and was exploring new trails around Grandma French’s house. I did 5 miles on the Cricket Frog Trail on Tuesday and was looking forward to the Rockdale River Trail today. It was raining and I decided I was going to go anyway.
I started at the trailhead at The Monastery of the Holy Spirit, amazing right!? I was ready with a heart prepared for this spiritual running experience. The trail is beautiful, the pine trees glorious, the temperature was perfect, the rain made it feel like an adventure.
I had run 1/2 a mile and had already hit my flow. I came down a hill with the rain sprinkling on my face and I thought, “this is absolute bliss”, it felt so refreshing, I felt so alive and free. I got to about 3/4 of a mile and was going down a hill that had water at the bottom forming a stream across the path. I thought “shall I speed up and jump it?” I had not even finished my thought and I was flying through the air landing on my hands and knees sliding across the concrete path. It happened so fast I didn’t know what happened.
I was instantly in so much pain, I thought I was going to throw up. I grabbed my ankle and looked around trying to figure out what I stepped on. There were large chunks of bark laying on the path, and the only thing that made sense was my focus on the stream ahead made me miss my step. I sat there for a moment trying to figure out if I was okay.
Bloody knees, torn pants, scraped hands, and an ankle swelling. I now had to walk back to my car. I was pretty disappointed, this was supposed to be such a blissful moment, I was truly in heaven, and in a split second, it was ripped from me.
Those of you that know me, know that I love using these moments in life to teach life lessons and this one seems like an appropriate moment. It seems dramatic enough to teach! As I walked back to my car it reminded me of how walks of pain are necessary.
For me, I had no option but to get up and start walking. It hurt, I was all alone and no one was coming to rescue me, to carry me or save me from my pain. It was just me, the rain, the trees, and one step at a time. Life will bring pain, each of us will have our own walk of pain that will refine us. No one can do it for you or save you from it. You have to dig inside yourself and walk it out one step at a time.
Pain is an interesting thing, it exposes, it refines, it humbles, it brings us to a place of surrender, it helps us remember we are just human. Fragile beings, with one body and one life. In a split second, you can go from heavenly bliss with light rain on your face, to being hurled to the ground with no explanation.
All you can do is catch your breath, brush yourself off and stand up. And when you start to walk you will be a little kinder, a little smarter, maybe a little a wiser. You will understand your own fragility and maybe be more gentle with others. Your pain will become purpose and your life a gift to others that need to hear someone say, me too.
Girl, this is your life, only you can walk your walk of pain. Let it do what it is meant to do, awaken you.
“But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” –C.S. Lewis