All life is an experiment

Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. What if they are a little coarse, and you may get your coat soiled or torn? What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice. Up again, you shall never be so afraid of a tumble.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Yesterday my husband, Jesse, participated in an ultra triathlon. It started to rain as he was turning down the last hill in to the transition area to go from his bike to running. Going a little too fast for the wet conditions, he and his bike slid sideways across the pavement. With blood and scrapes down the right side of his body, he got up, back on his bike, went through the transition, put his running shoes on and ran 21.1 km, finishing in a personal best time for the triathlon, while still bleeding. He may be nursing some painful wounds today, but overall he pushed through pain and some tumbling to finish what he started.

I am learning to be comfortable with the process of life, not having it all perfectly prepared, planned out, and even presented to others. What I’ve learned over the last few years is that it’s ok to mess up. That there are sides of myself that will make wrong assumptions about twists and turns in life, and sometimes I will end up on the pavement – but that’s what life is about – getting out there, living life to it’s fullest, making mistakes, and carrying on. If we are too afraid to make mistakes, we will be too afraid to really live our lives.

In spite of the squeamishness I have from all of that blood yesterday, I love the image that Jesse portrayed. He made a wrong assumption, but got up and carried on. He didn’t quit. If life is an experiment, and we will have tumbles, than we also have to accept the parts of ourselves that will at times be the reason for these tumbles. It’s in acknowledging these moments, getting back up, and learning from them, that we are able to “never be so afraid of a tumble”. And, I suppose, if it’s true we come from dirt, then perhaps it’s ok to fall in it from time to time.

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