The Fall

fall <fôl> (verb) 1. “move downward, typically rapidly and freely without control, from a higher to a lower level” // 2. “lose one's balance and collapse”

Falls are usually a result of an accident.

  • a misplaced step

  • a slip on an unseen object

  • a moment of dizziness or vertigo

  • a loss of our sense of placement in space

  • a misjudgment of our own ability or strength

  • a miscalculation of the sturdiness of another object


Depending on how you were raised, or on the kind of mindset you’ve embraced as an adult, a fall is either an invitation to retreat and take fewer risks . . . or it is a challenge to become stronger and test your limits again.

If surveyed, I would guess than upward of 75% of our population reacts to the risk of falling with doing less.

Yet, what our bodies actually need are for us to do more.

We need to . . .

build our strength,

increase our mobility,

improve our balance.

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I fell last week. I dropped approximately 8 feet to the ground after a missed grasp at a hold I was reaching for.

The result? Two dislocated fingers and a month’s worth of hand exercises.

After the incident, my thoughts over the following 24-hours included:

  • “that was so foolish of me”

    • “but I almost had it”

  • “it’s time to act my age”

    • “but I don’t want to act my age”

  • “my physical decline has begun”

    • “this is actually a call to increase my strength”

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The truth is that most of us are going to experience a fall at some point in our lives. It’s more of a when than if.

But the real question is “what kind of shape are you going to be in when it happens?”

Maybe two dislocated fingers is just dumb luck.

But . . .

No broken bones

No back or spine issues

Hardly even sore the next day?

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I often speak of the power of exercise, to . . .

  • relieve stress

  • improve our mood

  • manage pain

But an equally important benefit of exercise is that it widens our ability to absorb life stressors . . . emotional, mental, physical.

There’s no question that I am very fortunate . . . that I did’t get seriously injured.

There is equally no question that the padding of muscles, the flexibility of a mobile spine, and the strength of bones exposed to weight training helped to create that good fortune.

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What kind of shape are you going to be in the next time life drops you?