When You Fall Down, You Have To Get Up

I saw a quickie on the TV recently where the announcer made the statement, “Some falls you just never get up from.” He was referring to people like Tonya Harding and, more recently, Lindsey Vonn. He was speaking of literal falls – Harding’s infamous fall at the Olympics that led to her eventual downfall, and Vonn’s fall that tore her ACL which has apparently ended her skiing career. He was meaning that some injuries or incidents produce events that end your career. Tonya Harding never recovered from her fall. Winning does not always mean getting a gold medal. Tonya Harding did not understand this fact and tried to stand back up by pulling other people down. Tonya Harding never got up from her fall because she tried to do it not with the help of others, but at the expense of others. While I agree that Olympian level snow skiing without an ACL is probably not going to happen, that does not mean that Lindsey Vonn cannot get up from her injury. Lindsey Vonn is/was a fabulous skier, arguably one of the all-time best. But while Lindsey Vonn may have defined skiing of the early millennium, skiing does not have to define Lindsey Vonn. She may never ski at that level again, but that does not mean she cannot stand back up. No ACL may mean her skiing is done, but it does not mean that SHE is done. All of us fall in our lifetime. The only people who have never fallen are the ones who never lived. It is not about getting knocked down. It is all about getting back up. As humans, we are social creatures. When we stumble or fall, we look around for support, for a hand from our friends and loved ones to stand us back up. We all give and receive help all the time. This is as it should be. But what about those falls when that person or persons you to whom you reach out are not there? Then get up anyway. As a medic in the National Guard, I tended to my troops stateside as well as over there. Many of the wounds your military men and women receive in combat are not visible and are not medical. The biggest problem of it all is the people back here have no idea how to help and, in many instances, don’t believe there is a wound at all. You don’t have to be in combat, or be in the military, or be a sports star to take a fall. One day you have a nice job; the next day they are out of business. One day you are sitting in a nice home; the next day that house is a pile of ash or spread across the tri-state area by Hurricane Destiny. Life is full of stumbles and falls. Everyone out there reading this article can think of at least one time in their life when they were down and felt, at least temporarily, like they just wanted to quit something. Maybe you had someone who reached out and took you by the hand, and said, “I am here for you.” If so, then I am glad. I hope that I live long enough to repay the help that I have received in my life. If not pay it back, that I can pay it forward. But what if that help isn’t there for you? It is not always the fault of the other person. They may think what they are doing is the right thing. But without them, you have what it takes – Faith in God, and Faith in yourself. One of my favorite sayings is, “If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.” Whether you are the one that fell or they are, if a hand is extended to you, take it. Give help because someday you will need help. But if the help is not available, don’t let it stop you. Get up. Think About It.

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