watch for mud

Watch for mud!  A couple of weeks ago I was rollerblading around our glorious Stanley Park.  It was sure to be the last blade for the fall, because there had been wind and wild weather and I expected there would be some leaves and sticks down, and, indeed, this was true.

Parts of the trail were also damp, which means I had to be careful not to slip as I was blading along. Despite all this, everything was going really well, and I was feeling quite pleased, grateful for the outing, the exercise, the clear air, expansive views, the gift of this remarkable public space, so close a dense urban area. Then came a narrow section (see picture)… never my favourite…it’s often a bit rough.  But this time, after the rains, there had been a bit of a mudslide.

Watch for mud!  Well, I actually saw the mud.  It looked like just a little thin patch, and I decided to just keep rolling (as is my want! :-))   I now know: rollerblades don’t do mud! I came to an immediate stop which plunged me forward, and I took a spill that laid me out flat. It definitely shook me up. Someone gave me a hand up and asked if I were OK. I shook myself off., noticed that I was completely muddy, but otherwise, except for just a twinge in my right pinky, none the worse for the fall.  So I said, thanks, I’m alright.  

My knee protectors and wrist guards had done their job and I only seem to have rolled over a little bit on my pinky so I rolled on…down on the pedestrian level which was mud-free.   I felt very lucky!  I was grateful for the body’s resilience — and nevertheless: watch for mud!  

watch for mud

Later I panned back and began to muse about how this could be relevant in my life?  I didn’t have to roll over the mud.  I could easily have stopped, stepped down to the mud-free pedestrian level, and rolled on by.  Could “watch for mud” be a message not just to slow down (I’ve been getting that message for years and actually making incremental progress in that! Just ask my husband :-)) … or might there be something more?

I did have options.  As I said, I could have stopped.  And carefully walked across the mud.  Or, as I‘ve mentioned, stepped down to the mud-free pedestrian section.  On reflection, I didn’t feel brazen or pushy or aggressive or foolhardy… I just didn’t assess the situation accurately. Perhaps you could say I didn’t use the precautionary principle, which would be so appropriate in so many areas these days.

wounded warriors!

Anyway, it turns out the pinky had gotten broken, cracked in two places, right at the edge of the wrist protector, which did its job. There was no damage to my wrists or any other bones. Yippee! But now I do have an arm cast, which is doing a fine job of slowing me down and letting me savor the beautiful crisp fall air and sunshine that we’re enjoying now. (Here you see my granddaughter and me posing as “wounded warriors”!).

So remember: watch for mud — however it manifests in your life — and see what message it might be sending you! I’d love to hear your mud stories and insights! We’re in this together!

Jill Schroder is the author of BECOMING: Journeying Toward Authenticity.  BECOMING is an invitation for self-reflection, and to mine our memorable moments for insights, meaning, andgrowth.  Check the website for a sample chapter, or see the reviews to get a flavor for the volume.  Follow me on Twitter, let’s be friends on Facebook.

Share this: