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Learning to fall and other life lessons

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Old 03-28-2008, 10:49 PM   #1
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Default Learning to fall and other life lessons

OK, so I've been thinking about this for a few days and decided to go ahead and post. I figure, you'll either find it interesting and insightful, or think I'm nuts, but hey...

This week I was doing one of my training runs (I'm doing couch to 5K) and I caught my toe on a heaved bit of sidewalk and went flying. Don't worry - I'm OK. See, I fall well. Actually, I fall REALLY well; I've had lots of practice ; as a child I was a gymnast and took lessons for about seven years. I know for a fact that a good portion of that time was spent learning to fall. Some of the specific stuff I remember, but what's come in handy for me as an adult, with my natural inclination toward falling, is that my body remembers all of it - muscle memory they call it.

So, in that split second after I went airborn while my mind was going "oh, crap try not to land on the dog," my body took charge. I rotated, brought my weight down gently without locking any contact joints, rolled over my shoulder, and came to a stop on my back with my legs in the air. Heck, I even managed to keep the poop sack (post-poo) at a good distance from myself during the whole process. Sure, I probably looked a right fool to the people in the cars going by, but after a moment lying there assessing myself I was able to get back up and continue my run, a bit shaken but in good shape.

So, I found myself thinking about this: The trick about falling well is to do it in such a way as to minimize potential damage and make sure you'll be able to get back on your feet. And dang, but I wish I'd spent those 7 years learning the equivalent about dieting! Too often in weightloss, we think of falling as failing, and throw away all our work as a result.

So, can I do it now? Can I learn to fall correctly in weightloss? Is there some equivalent that I can teach myself so that when I fall in dieting I do it in such a way as to minimize potential damage and make sure I'll be able to get back up on my feet? And am I willing to commit to practicing this new skill, knowing it may take years for it to become imprinted in my muscle memory, and knowing that it means I'll have to be OK with falling as part of the learning process?

Like I said, this has sort of stuck with me the last few days, so I wanted to share. Maybe it will be useful to some of you, or maybe you'll decide I must have hit my head on the concrete and just don't remember.

Wishing everyone a happy journey, falls and all.

Amarie
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Last edited by Amarie2pt0 : 03-28-2008 at 10:51 PM.
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Old 03-28-2008, 11:32 PM   #2
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What a great metaphor! Thanks for that!
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Old 03-29-2008, 12:01 AM   #3
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Is there some equivalent that I can teach myself so that when I fall in dieting I do it in such a way as to minimize potential damage and make sure I'll be able to get back up on my feet?
I think this is called portion control, it's damage but it's minimal...The next day you get back on your feet and forget what happened yesterday...

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And am I willing to commit to practicing this new skill, knowing it may take years for it to become imprinted in my muscle memory, and knowing that it means I'll have to be OK with falling as part of the learning process?
YES!! The more you do something the more you commit to it... this applies to all aspects in life!!
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Old 03-29-2008, 12:08 AM   #4
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Me Amarie - this is an awesome post. I am in midfall myself! It really helped me see things in a new light! Thanks!
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Old 03-29-2008, 12:23 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Me_Amarie View Post
And am I willing to commit to practicing this new skill, knowing it may take years for it to become imprinted in my muscle memory, and knowing that it means I'll have to be OK with falling as part of the learning process?
I really found this part insightful.

Great post!
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Old 03-29-2008, 01:10 AM   #6
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On a non-insightful level (it's late, I have no great pearls of wisdom :P ).

A few months back I posted about my own fall. It's amazing how much muscle memory we retain. While my legs and elbows hurt for 2 weeks afterwards, my important pieces (read : brain) were left unscathed. I learned falling in martial arts, not gymnastics, and I don't know if there's a difference. We learned to fall onto "unnecessary" bits - legs, arms, butts. So when my feet came out from under me in a bunch of water in the garage (I fell backwards, as opposed to your forwards), my first inclination was to keep my head up (check), put my forearms down below my body (check), land on my butt (check). I still ended up smacking my head on the pavement, but instead of a brutal crunch it was more of a mildly painful thwap, that left me with an annoying headache for 2-3 hours, but no long term damage.
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Old 03-29-2008, 07:31 AM   #7
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I really love this as an analogy! In Aikido practice, falling is something you expect to do over and over again, so you have to know how to fall harmlessly and get back up again and keep going. Wouldn't it be wonderful to approach slip-ups in weight management the same way?

Thanks, Me_Amarie!

Jay
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Old 03-29-2008, 07:31 AM   #8
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Old 03-29-2008, 07:45 AM   #9
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First of all, I'm glad you're okay!

Second of all, I LOVE the analogy and I am sooo glad that you shared it with us. You definitely gave me something to think about.

"So, can I do it now? Can I learn to fall correctly in weightloss? Is there some equivalent that I can teach myself so that when I fall in dieting I do it in such a way as to minimize potential damage and make sure I'll be able to get back up on my feet? And am I willing to commit to practicing this new skill, knowing it may take years for it to become imprinted in my muscle memory, and knowing that it means I'll have to be OK with falling as part of the learning process?"
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Old 03-29-2008, 09:52 AM   #10
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Love it!
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Old 03-29-2008, 10:04 AM   #11
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Very interesting. Thanks so much for posting.
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Old 03-29-2008, 10:25 AM   #12
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What a great post! I wish I could fall so well myself. I usually fall flat down on my face (although I did not have that many falls). It was fun reading that you managed to hold the poopie bag at a safe distance (I live in a neighbourhood with almost zero public garbage bins, so I usually juggle two at least).
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Old 03-29-2008, 10:34 AM   #13
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Great post. People pay life coachs good money for insights like that! Lol. Thanks
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