Lessons from Spraining My Ankle

lessons present slow Jan 25, 2023

"Ooooh! Incredible save!" My friend yelled as I saved myself from eating it. It was funny how much I heard that exclamation. Sure, I was learning to one-wheel and that called for a lot of trial and error, but even on the muddy hike I took with another friend just days before, those words were seemingly on repeat as I slipped and slid and twisted and jolted my way down the ridge trail.

Ironically, in the end, she came out unscathed and I came out covered in mud. "You gotta learn to slow down." She said, shaking her head.

Yeah, whatev. I'm real good at saves. I have to be. I've been going 100 MPH since the day I was born. I was walking fast, talking fast, typing fast, reading fast, eating fast, showering fast, organizing fast and everything else: fast. Living by Ricky Bobby's "If you ain't first, you're last," all the time for no reason at all. For the past SEVEN years, one of my new year's resolutions has been "go slow." Failed. Failed. Failed. Failed. Failed. Failed. Failed.

Well, weeks into 2023, I missed a save. After a ridiculous one-wheel accident on plush carpet that landed me in urgent care with a severely sprained ankle, I realized with a weird maniacal smile, that I'd have to slow down. It would be like the time I got botox in my forehead so I could train my eyebrows to stop twitching (it worked). Just a one-time inhibitor to stop the compulsive twitching. I'd finally be able to go slow.

Immediately, I found myself in full receiving-mode. As an over-active, hyper-independent, this was uncharted territory for me and extremely uncomfortable. I was carried, taped, checked on and massaged. I had to ask for favors as big as: carry me to the hospital and as small as: can you get my phone from the other room. Strangely for me, the smaller favor, the harder it was to ask. "But I could do it!" was a vicious loop that played in my head. I hopped and crawled so much the first day that I bruised my knees and gave myself shin splints on my good leg. I knew enough about self-growth to know that this needed to stop. I needed to receive. I needed to slow down. Even though I felt like crawling out of my own needy, slow skin, this was good for me.

I had to wait on other people. I had to do about half as much as I normally do. I had to take my time and be especially mindful. But I found that in the slowness, I was able to connect so much deeper. I kept eye-contact longer. I spoke more slowly. I breathed deeper. I could feel my body more. I saw more beauty. I truly felt people in the room and before me. I started being here because there was nowhere else to go. 

The same world I'd been living in became brighter, more alive, more magical since I stopped running and rushing. I couldn't believe it, but hobbling my way through life left me feeling happier. I'm nearly giddy.

Now, I love going fast. It may always be in my nature, but as I continue to practice and instill the slowness, I want to remember all of reasons this pace is richer:

1. Deeper connections

2. More beauty

3. Happiness

Going slow allows me to be me. Going slow allows me to live. I'm stopping the twitching.

 

Need help slowing down? Let's do this together. Inquire about working 1:1 with me here and we'll find the perfect format for you.

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