Hitting the Ground Running: Why Speedy Recoveries Are Overrated

This has been the summer of weddings. Three weeks ago we were in Colorado, then we were in London and soon we will be driving south for a beach wedding in mid September. It has been an exceptional amount of travel in a teeny amount of time and I am an easily overwhelmed traveler. With each trip perfectly planned around how to best recover and prepare, we have had excellent results so far. However each first day back I have the same phrase spinning in my busy mind-Hitting the Ground Running.

There are so many phrases in Type A, ambition-driven America that create unreasonable expectations for our very human bodies. But this one really has me thinking this week.

If we were to break down the phrase we should at least look at its feasibility in a literal stance. Hitting the ground running. My mind immediately goes to jumping off moving trains, or leaping out of moving cars. In both circumstances the best physical response would be to soften your body and roll to allow the force to have its way with your body without causing harm. If you actually hit the ground running you would break a leg or twist an ankle. But if you let motion move through you safely you would walk away bruised and sore, but fully functioning.

Hitting the ground running after 9 days in Europe would look like four loads of laundry on my first day back, putting clean sheets on the bed, writing this blog post, grocery shopping, opening mail, returning 200 emails, meal planning, writing thank you notes, unpacking and putting everything away, watering wilting plants and sleeping all day long. My second day would include two classes, full patient-load, bookkeeping, personal yoga practice, long nap, making dinner and being verbal at 8pm.

That both sounds as bad as a broken leg and sounds impossible.

So what would be the emotional and physical equivalent of hitting the ground and letting my body roll by staying soft. What is the equivalent of covering my eyes and protecting my belly organs to prevent too much impact? Maybe that is a more feasible ambition in my search for quick recovery.

This is my third day waking in the States and only this morning have I reached the point in this hitting the ground process were I feel like the tossing and tumbling has finally stopped. Now I’m laying flat on my back, sore and banged up, but ready to slowly pull myself up off the ground. I need to take stock of injuries, look around and see where this moving train has deposited me and figure out a way to get where I am going.

What trains are you jumping off of lately? Are you waiting for a good patch of soft pasture or are you leaping into stony quarries? Are you trying to stick the landing like a gymnast and risk your two sturdy ankles? Or are you rounding the body, softening and letting the ground hit and bounce and release you?

It’s yield again. It all comes back to yield. How can you more fully yield to circumstance? How can you more fully yield to yourself? So much of life is letting go of being perfect, to make room for being human.


Image credit: yanlev / 123RF Stock Photo

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