“If we only knew then what we know now. That love conquers everything. That faith can move mountains. That good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people. That loud doesn’t mean strong and quiet doesn’t mean weak. That closed hearts are often hurt hearts that have yet to unfold. That silence can be both beautiful and terrifying. That healing takes time and time moves both quickly and unbearably slowly. That one step in any direction can change the course of your life forever. That bliss is sometimes just loving what you already have rather than wanting what you wish you had. That you will have days where you feel on top of the world and days where you feel like you have hit rock bottom. And that rising from the ashes requires going through the flames. And that falling was part of it all.Ullie-Kaye
I took my very first running steps in P.T. today, and I couldn’t be more excited! It wasn’t far. It wasn’t fast. And we didn’t continue the process for very long. But I was running, pain free, for the first time in almost two years, and I can’t even begin to explain what that means to me! Running has literally become part of me throughout the years and my life just hasn’t been the same since I had to stop doing it.
I’ve always been active, even as a child – especially as a child. “Accident prone”, my mom used to call me. The daily occurrence of scraped knees and bright colored bruises were not just marks upon my body, but indicators of all the adventures that I’d had. By the time I’d reached the 4th grade, we were already keeping a running count of how many stitches I’d had – and I’d already accumulated a double digit tally!
I remember one particular summer day, climbing out my bedroom window and onto our front porch roof with a bed sheet wrapped around my neck like a cape. I remember standing at the edge of the roof, looking down to the sidewalk and the grass below, honestly contemplating the 15’ jump. As I held the bottom corners of that bed sheet in my hands, I honestly believed that the air would inflate my sheet like a parachute and I would be able to fly, or at least float, gently to the ground below. I don’t remember exactly what stopped me. Was it fear of the fall – which I knew would be painful? Or fear of the failure – which I knew would make my mom sad and my dad mad? Perhaps some form of common sense and reality of my own mortality actually struck me in that moment before I took that leap? I honestly don’t remember… I guess it only makes sense that jumping out of an airplane and crashing to the ground is the one life event that would force me to finally grow up and start looking at things a little bit differently.
I still remember that day so clearly. I still feel it in my bones – the exact moment when my body hit the ground. I found myself face down in that field, just trying to breathe. Sounds were deafening and my vision was fading. I sat there for a moment, trying hard not to believe what had just happened. I was waiting for the pain to lessen, to loosen its grip on me, as I found a way to stand.
Perhaps a wiser woman would have laid her body down? Remained still upon that ground? Waited for the ambulance or medical helicopter to arrive? But, in my experience as a Paramedic, waiting for help to arrive is often just a waste of time – and counting on someone to come and save me might be the answer that most people would choose, but it has never been mine.
They say that hindsight is always 20/20 and, looking back now, I can honestly admit that lying down in that field, waiting for help to arrive would, in fact, have been the best thing that I could have done. It would have saved me a lot of time, pain, aggravation, and further deterioration… but none of that matters now. What’s done is done. What matters most is that I’m here, I’m recovering, and it is now (finally!) time to lace back up!
I’ve spent the last 18 months of my life doing absolutely everything I can in order to heal my body. I am doing everything I can to rebuild my strength. I have no wise words for my future self at this point. I have no ripened reflection to share regarding my past. I have only this feeling of overwhelming, pure and unadulterated joy regarding this monumental milestone that I was finally able to cross over today. I have been telling myself to be patient, busying myself with everything else that needed to done in order to prepare. I have been waiting for this exact moment for what feels like a lifetime, greatly anticipating this very day, when “the girl who fell from the sky” can finally begin to run again!