My youngest granddaughter’s name is Grace. She has two older brothers so she’s both tough and feminine and usually keeps up pretty well. Recently we set on a hike in South Dakota that involved crossing the same mountain stream over and over again. This was hard for Grace as she’s only five and often the rocks were spaced far apart or the logs were narrow. To be honest it was hard for me. But our first concern as adults was getting her across safely and staying dry.
It didn’t take long to learn that staying dry was useless and more importantly compromised safety. It doesn’t pay to try to avoid getting wet. Mountain streams are cold and the rocks are slippery. Not only are you safer just getting wet and walking through it it is also more fun and refreshing. But it wasn’t Grace who fell, it was me.
On about our fourth pass, with Grace safely on the other side I watched my My daughter take a graceful jump across from rock to shore. I took the same leap and did one of those slow falls where you feet slip up and you land flat on your back. On solid rock. Being resilient and flexible from years of yoga I managed to keep from hitting my head. This is one of those falls that could have ended in a being airlifted out. But the rock was smooth and flat and the most damage done was a bruised tailbone and ego with a valuable lesson learned. So what if you get wet?
So often in life we make careful calculated decisions during transitions only to fall down anyway. Why not forge the streams and get wet? The water is cold and refreshing and it’s a lot more fun. In the long run it’s much better for your soul. Trying to stay dry is stressful, you are always worried about where to step next, will you maintain your balance and what if you make a mistake? Moving quickly and trusting your instincts, the process and your training works much better and is a lot more satisfying.
I jumped up, took four ibuprofen and kept going. I was not going to hold the family back. When we got to our destination devils bathtub I just sat in the cold water, in my clothes to the delight of my grandchildren it looked like I had wet my pants and we all laughed together. On the way the back I walked straight through the water and had no more stress about which step was the best one. As long as I’m healthy it doesn’t really matter.
Other lesson learned–adults also need to bring back up shoes and clothes when hiking!