Street Olympics


Technically, I’m not graceful. While I like to think I have cat-like reflexes, the reality is, I move more like a deer caught in headlights (slow or not at all). So when I attempted to cross First Avenue last week and found myself diving through the air doing a majestic belly flop onto the pavement it was no surprise—at least to me. The surrounding pedestrians were definitely taken aback.


In mere moments, I was swarmed by people asking, “Are you okay?” And then a man lifted me up and put me back on my feet. Of course I couldn’t make eye contact with him because I was tearing up with shame and embarrassment. It was not one of my finer moments. As quickly as I could, I crossed the rest of the street (I had amasses some injuries especially to my left side since I had turned mid air so I wouldn’t do a face plant into the ground) and walked into the first place I could hide.


After I had settled down a little, I thought of how my antics could have been considered funny. How often do people see a woman dive through the air as if there were a swimming pool in front of her, doing a fantastic pavement dive worthy of a perfect 10?! At least I tried to convince myself of that.


I was going to talk about how the Apostles fell, like Peter falling into the water when he took his eyes off Jesus; or like when Jesus himself even fell carrying his own cross—but then I decided to look at this a different way. What did Peter and Jesus do after they fell? They got right back up. Peter was probably mortified, but he got back up and grabbed for Jesus’ hand. And Jesus picked up his heavy cross and kept walking.


I think that’s the difference. My first reaction was to run and hide, to get away and pretend my mistake never happened, to laugh it off, even. Peter and Jesus, however, got right back up and kept going, they kept up the good fight. I think that’s a great lesson for us all. No matter how hard it is, get up and keep fighting, keep going.


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