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I fall down a lot

I tumble on trails. These falls on mountains are not life-threatening, head-over-heals, screaming-like-a-little-school-girl plunges; but slips, crashes, or rolls on steep paths. Coming down hard on my rear end, palms, knees or ankles. Nothing too serious, just embarrassing.In my defense, Iím really not a klutz. I think Iím quite nimble on my feet, actually. If I hadnít picked graphic design as a career, I might have chosen interpretive dancing.In the wilderness, things sneak up on you. A tree root, pea gravel, wobbly boulders, slick rocks ó all seem to work to impede your progress and squelch your enthusiasm. The important thing is getting back up, right?True to form, last month I fell again in Rocky Mountain National Park. Not 10 yards from the parking lot, on my start up to Dream Lake, I slipped on an ice patch and came down hard, bending my wrist back at an odd angle. Seriously? I hadnít even started the hike yet!Flat on my back, hoping no one had seen me go down (being the experienced hiker and all), looking like an overturned turtle; I lay there for a few moments. Very still. Taking inventory, thinking of all the possibilities. How bad was it? Was I bleeding? Broken bones? Head trauma? I didnít feel any pain. Then, I remembered that shock immediately sets in with a terrible injury. It could be serious, but I may not feel anything. Maybe I was paralyzed. Paralyzed!Thankfully, my pack had taken the brunt of the fall, but my wrist hurt like a son-of-a-gun. Probably just a sprain, I thought, hopefully nothing worse. I slid down the short, slippery stretch, rolled a couple of times; and carefully got back to my feet. Undaunted, I wrapped my throbbing wrist with an Ace bandage, strapped on my snowshoes (which I should have done at first), and started up the mountain.Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, ìOur greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.î I fall, a lot, but I get back up. The wilderness is a great teacher that way.

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