In Others’ Words: Fall

know how to fall quote 9.18.13

I took karate a number of years ago — okay, a lot of years ago. It’s how I met my husband. He swept me off my feet in a karate studio. To be completely honest, he knocked me down.

Yeah, so romantic.

But here’s the point: In karate, you’re taught how to fall. You practice falling down and getting back up, falling down and getting back up — over and over again. And yes, there is a technique, a bit of skill, to falling well.

I’m wondering, setting aside what I learned in that karate studio, what kind of “When you fall, here’s how you get back up” insights would I share with someone else today?

Something like:

  1. Falls are gonna happen — and they’re gonna hurt. It’s okay to say “ouch” and even cry a bit.
  2. Falls — even when you think you’re prepared for them — can cause an unexpected injury. Adjust to it, don’t deny it.
  3. Falls mean you need to get back up. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help. But before you get up, see if there’s anything you learned from your on-the-ground-looking-up perspective.

In Your Words: How would you tell someone to fall? Any “When you fall, here’s how you get back up” insights? 

Do you know how to fall? Click to Tweet

3 Tips for Getting Back Up When You Fall Click to Tweet

Read the first chapter of Catch a Falling Star by Beth K. Vogt Click to Tweet 


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  1. September 18, 2013, 7:12 am   /  Reply

    Love this post, Beth. Karate does teach you how to fall. With my kids going through their black belt candidacy classes, I’m reminded that falling is a part of life. 🙂

    I think first admitting that it’s okay to fall is important. Then, looking at what you’ve learned and applying it. Not holding myself to a standard of perfection will make it easier to get back up. It also makes those times when I fall hurt a little less. I guess giving myself grace (permission?) to fall is what makes it easier to learn, get back up and move forward again.

    • September 18, 2013, 7:54 am   /  Reply

      Admitting it’s okay to fall — that’s a brilliant life truth, Jeanne. CJ just tried out for club volleyball. One thing we wanted her to know was — make the team or not — we were proud of her for going for it. For taking on the challenge.

  2. September 18, 2013, 7:30 am   /  Reply

    I guess you know crow position was the first thing that came to mind. 🙂 So true that getting up is as much of an art form as the art itself, and I could use this reminder daily.

    • September 18, 2013, 8:11 am   /  Reply

      I hadn’t even thought of the crow mishap, Kim — although I have the photos to remind me. And yes, I fell flat on my face in yoga class — but I did finish class, even with the instructor saying, “Wow! You hurt yourself.” (No Duh.)

  3. September 18, 2013, 7:38 am   /  Reply

    There are times when one simply doesn’t get up after falling. It’s either not possible, or not worth it. Think stepping into a boxing ring with Joe Louis…how long do you have to be beaten into hamburger to realize that you may as well stay on the mat?

    The thing is, we CAN be beaten despite our best efforts. There’s little honor in failure, but even less in failure to learn.

    Perhaps that is what “Footsteps” is all about.

    • September 18, 2013, 8:09 am   /  Reply

      Agreed, Andrew.
      But realizing that you’re done, you’re beaten … well, that’s the first step to beginning again, isn’t it? Failure can be the end of one thing … and the beginning of something else. That’s the whole “failure to learn” part of the equation.

  4. September 18, 2013, 7:54 am   /  Reply

    Love this, Beth. And I never get tired of the story of how you and Rob met. 🙂

    I wonder sometimes if, when we know we’re falling, it’s best just to lean into the fall…sorta like how when your car is swerving on ice, you have to do what feels a little unnatural…steer into the swerve instead of yanking the wheel the opposite direction. Maybe when we just lean into it, let it happen, hold onto grace for the duration, maybe then the “oomph!” is a little lighter.

    • September 18, 2013, 8:08 am   /  Reply

      You do have to lean into a fall, Melissa — kind of go with it. There’s actually grace-fulness in a fall, and that’s what you’re trying to do … go with the fall, not get hurt, and then get back up.

  5. September 18, 2013, 8:08 am   /  Reply

    Learning to fall. Sometimes it’s not graceful and it’s very painful, but if we don’t fall sometimes, we begin to think WE are responsible for all of our good fortune. Falling keeps us focused on the One who catches us. Every time.

    • September 18, 2013, 8:11 am   /  Reply

      Such a wise perspective, Pat! Love your insight!

  6. September 18, 2013, 12:16 pm   /  Reply

    What did Dory say? “Just keep swimming!”

    For me, it’s people like you, Beth, and my other writer siblings who kept me from wallowing in the mud when the rejection letter came on September 3rd. Dear friends like Heather, Becky, Andrew, Jeanne, Sarah, Laura, Lori, and SO many more!!

    The thing is, writers get rejections all the time. BUT, it’s the work getting turfed, not the person. Remember that God made gravity and it does hurt when it causes the pain upon impact to be rather difficult.

    But, He also made wings. And friends who swoop over and carry you until your own wings flutter again.

    • September 18, 2013, 12:45 pm   /  Reply

      True, JZM, true. Sometimes we need help to get back up. And friends … blessed friends, make all the difference between falling down and staying down.

  7. September 18, 2013, 9:07 pm   /  Reply

    Beth, I love how you advise us to make sure to use our observation skills before we get back up. An image of a young lady sprawled across the road looking up at a car bumper inches from her face instantly came to mind. 🙂 I’m not sure I could stay down at that precise moment (were I ever to find myself in that particular situation). Ha ha. Thanks for the laugh-inducing, image-producing prodding.

    Blessings for the rest of your week!

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