I tripped on my run this morning. Pretty hard.
When possible I try and run on the shoulder of the road rather than the sidewalk. The sidewalk “panels” can raise and buckle based on the ground shifting or tree roots. And this morning I hit one of those little lifts with my foot with about half a mile to go in my four miler. Just like that, I was on my way down.
Then something curious happened.
My abs engaged, and my hips fired forward, and my step cadence increased, and before I knew what happened, I was back on my feet and running. My hands had not even hit the ground. Now, I know that I did not look graceful (there was a car at a nearby stop sign that almost certainly saw me – wonder what they thought), and I know that I’m a clumsy oaf.
But I also know that I was able to quickly engage my body in such a way that I did not fall down. And I could feel it happening.
Seems like a silly thing, I know, but my core is stronger than it has ever been. My balance, which I suck so badly at when we work on it at the gym, is improving. And I was able to divert disaster in a way that I’m convinced I could not have done even six months ago.
I learned something this morning. Functional fitness doesn’t just mean picking up heavy things or running away from something or jumping over something. It also can mean remaining on your feet when there is every reason to bust your ass.