Life Lessons from Falling Down

Disclaimer: With a title like that I realize we could use the term “falling down” metaphorically, and in this post we do. However, what triggered this was literally a fall. The post was going to be called “That Time I fell off a Mountain Bike and Broke my Lady Bits… and other musings.” – a title which I love (!) and likely not the most professional as this is a business blog. But hey, out there now, and I do like to push the envelope 😜 Enjoy!

I felt so popular waking up the other morning to 20 DM’s on Instagram; my own little “I broke the internet moment”. Sure, it was because I posted one of those conspicuous hospital selfie’s the night before. Fishing for attention? Perhaps!

But that moment has given me a HUGE lesson about who we are at our core and how much we can push ourselves before we, well, break very important articles of anatomy. (Spoiler alert- after some x-rays, an ultra sound and blood work, results were I didn’t actually break anything, thank goodness. However, it was a moment I was incredibly thankful to live in Canada and have access to our healthcare system.)

Growing up, I “mostly” enjoyed the outdoors. Born with a biologist father and hippy mother, in arguably one of the most beautiful places on earth (Nelson, BC), I was basically voluntold into being an outdoors enthusiast.

Despite living on 9 acres backing up against the mountain with an active family, sports scared me. I was always picked last on teams and had the opposite of an athletic build, carrying around an extra 20 lbs almost my entire life. I was fit-ish, active-ish and enjoyed nature-ish.

For as far back as I can remember, I did things because I so desperately wanted to fit in. Going skiing, forcing myself down the black diamonds to keep up with my friends, playing soccer, and trying out for sports teams, only to feel more embarrassed when it didn’t happen. To this day I can’t fully determine if those were things I chose because a part of me actually enjoyed them- or it was how I was hoping to be seen.

Everything started to change when I fell in love with personal development at 23. Eat Pray Love was just published and before Juila Roberts took over, I pictured myself living Liz Gilberts’ life. Taking a year to travel to Italy, India and Indonesia… something in my heart awakened. (Disclosure, I know that “Eat Pray Love” isn’t exactly a personal development book. Let’s call it my gateway drug 😉)

Fast forward through leaving a “great” stable job, becoming a coach, starting a business, going back to school at 31 for a business degree and tens of thousands of dollars spent on “bettering myself” later, I’ve come to realize a few things.

We spend so much time and so much money trying to fix ourselves. And by “fixing” ourselves, we FINALLY come to a place where we can fall in love with who we’ve been all along. With all the cuts, the scars, the bruises and the scrapes.

Healing is an inside job. It’s that child version of ourselves, seeing the world through their distorted lens that’s actually running the show.

Amidst a fight, if someone is losing control, and you ask how old they feel, there’s a good chance they’ll say 5, or something in that range- the child version of themselves.

That’s because so much of who we are, our internal programming (think operating system like Windows or Mac… yes, I just compared us to computers) is formed when we weren’t old enough to determine our own bedtime.

Which is why, now more than ever, I believe our work is all about undoing who we’ve become so we’re FINALLY able to embrace who we ARE.

Letting go of the years of pain. The guilt. The shame. The sneaky limiting beliefs that are running our subconscious.

So, by now, you’re probably thinking- “yaya Kimberley, but what does this have to do with falling off your mountain bike?!”.

Here’s the thing.

I’ve spent so long (decades) trying to “fix” that cautious part of me. The one who wanted to be seen as someone who can take on a challenge and do hard things. Hustling. Pushing. Overcoming my weaknesses.

And that accident, it was a punch in the guts (literally, my pelvis slammed into the handlebars) reminding me to honour that cautious part of myself. That one that wants to go slow, to tune into myself first, and to check in and ensure my drive to mountain bike is driven entirely because I want to- for myself.

Other Life Lessons from the Fall:

  1. Own all parts of you. They are all beautiful.
  2. Ask for help. Let people help you.
  3. Somehow the trivial things (finances, how to generate more business, that friend that was bitchy to you earlier) don’t seem
    to matter when you’re worried something has been seriously injured.
  4. Look where you want to go (seriously- for some reason I kept hitting trees…)
  5. Know who you are, who you want to be and trust the process in between.
  6. A good coach will take you far and catch you when you fall. I want to send a serious shout out to Keith, my friend/mountain
    bike/everything coach (who I actually met on a plane ride down to San Diego… totally another story). He was so patient, kind and continuously pointed out all the good things I was going. He and his wife Leslie built up my confidence and were so amazing organizing everything from a mountainside pickup to dinner later to keeping my company in the hospital room.
Moral of the story? It might take me a bit to get the courage up to hop on a bike again. But I will do it. Courageously. However, this time, by acknowledging and appreciating all parts of myself.

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