Friday, January 11, 2013

The Art of Not Falling Down

The other day I watched this video of author Chris Morphew  learning to skateboard. I didn’t click on the link hoping to learn any great life lessons – or even how to skateboard. I just clicked on it because Chris’ videos are usually pretty funny.

And this one was no exception. I laughed a lot, but some of the things he was saying resonated with me, and I wasn’t quite sure why at first.

The whole theme of the video is Chris showing off his signature skateboarding more The Don’t Fall Off. At one point in the video he says: “The Don’t Fall Off – it’s more like a lifestyle choice than a move. Even when I do fall off, it’s kind of I achieved The Don’t Fall Off, if I have the right attitude.” Now, this made me laugh as I’m pretty sure he was just saying this to cover the fact that he’d fallen off the board, but at the same time the sentiment rang true with me.

I never really had the inclination to learn to skateboard until after I got really ill, and things as simple as walking in a straight line became a challenge. I remember feeling at one point that I had missed my chance to try things like skateboarding while I was healthy, and that was upsetting even though I’d never really wanted to do them in the first place. Sometimes I think maybe some day I could still try something like this. But then I remember that disability aside, I’m just totally uncoordinated, and once injured myself flying off an Ab Circle Pro (both hilarious and painful, so totally okay if you’re laughing right now!)  

Sometimes it feels like The Don’t Fall Over, is my signature move, and the biggest feat I will ever manage. Then sometimes it feels like I can’t even do that.

Just before Christmas, I had kind of a bad fall. I wasn’t hurt badly, other than winding myself by hitting a chair arm on the way down, but I landed in an awkward position and couldn’t get up again. I had to phone my dad to come rescue me in the end (thank goodness for cell phones!) It was the first fall I’ve had in a while, but there have been a few other near misses recently and it was enough to make me decide my current treatment plan just wasn’t working.

It felt like a step back at first – I’d gone from coping reasonably well, to not even being about to master The Don’t Fall Over. But I think the idea of “it’s kind of like I achieved The Don’t Fall off, if I have the right attitude” is very true. Yes, I did fall down but I didn’t fall apart. I knew what I needed to do in order to try and keep my health stable, and I still managed to keep on top of all the personal and work things I needed to do.

Even if I am falling over a bit more frequently, I’m still smiling and so I’ve got the attitude of staying on my feet, even if I'm technically on the floor.

I don’t know Chris personally, though I have read his books and did meet him briefly when he came to Wellington as part of the Storylines festival which I was volunteering at.
I’m pretty sure he didn’t intend any of this to be the hidden meaning behind his video about skateboarding, but the message was there for me when I needed it anyway. So thanks Universe (and probably thanks Chris too.)

- Little Miss Autoimmune.   

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