This gentleman - I call him that because I call all men of my father's age gentlemen even though my father has earned the opposite title, while I can't help but give the benefit of the doubt to others - was coming down a hill toward us. As we approached each other, he grimaced and fell spectacularly, head over heels. As I reined in the pups, I turned off my music and asked, "Are you okay?" Not a bright question with the road rash becoming brighter by the second, but an automatic one nonetheless. "I have my phone, and can call someone to drive you home if you need."
He snickered, and said as he started to stand, "I'm fine. This is my penance for ignoring the cramp in my calf." He gingerly put weight on the cramped leg, and began to stumble, but continued on, trying to regain his gait.
I called after him, "You sure you don't want me to get you a ride home, you could do some permanent damage."
Barely turning, his voice trailing off, he said, "I've had worse...besides, it might cripple me temporarily, but it won't kill me." Chuckling, he added, "Now, Death, that will be the ultimate run."
I stood watching the colors of the sunset and his retreating, ever fainter figure. "Damn straight," I said to my panting, impatient dogs, restarting the rhythm in my ears as I faced the oncoming hill. Switching my playlist to "Soul Sister" by Train, I double-timed it up the hill and added an extra mile.
When faced with the possibility of a stumble of any kind, I will always remember that it is just that - every difficulty is just a stumble. I might get scraped up a bit...hell I hit a bump and broke both my legs while I had my second 8 month pregnant bump in my baby hotel (hence, my drawing for the picture to this post). If I can survive that with my sense of humor in tact, and learn some amazing lessons about life, my relationships and myself...I can do anything!
When you stumble, don't stay down, double-time it up that hill - death is waiting to run with you!
Yes, Death will be the Ultimate Run, don't you think?