February 24 , 2021 /


We have a 5.5 month-old, active Labradoodle puppy. He weighs 50 lbs. I was walking him to a little park down the street and upon his seeing a dog about 50 yards away, he lunged toward the dog, pulled me off the edge of the concrete sidewalk and I lost my balance. I fell hard, and, in what seemed like slow motion, I tried to position my body, all 190 lbs of it, in the best possible position for landing.  I smacked the sidewalk hard and banged my left knee and left elbow with the result being a couple of wounds. I avoided hitting my head, at least as far as I can remember.  Yes, it could have been worse, and please don’t say that.  It was bad enough as it was.

There are other times in life when we are out of balance, one way or another, and the temptation is to create a list.  You can create your own and I won’t bore you with mine.  We know from experience what those have been, when they occurred and what it took to get back on track, or in alignment.  I repeat myself often these days!  https://garygruber.com/derailed/

Balance is the way we keep moving forward.  As one who walks and hikes, I know the importance of watching the trail as it sometimes has obstacles, roots of trees protruding, and in the mountains, rough and rocky terrain that must be navigated with even more extra attention.

Move that image into your work and life and it’s likely to be a good fit.  You may find some lessons there about your journey and how to watch for obstacles ahead of getting there.  Otherwise, we can trip and fall, yes?  Had I been more observant about the edge of the sidewalk and exactly where I was stepping, perhaps the fall could have been avoided.  Had I seen the distant dog before my dog did, I might have had better control. As you can see from the image, the sidewalk is flat, smooth, and straight. What got me was the edge and not paying close attention to exactly where my feet were on the sidewalk.

This is a classic example of hindsight, insight and foresight, a bit like past, present and future.In the past five years, I can recall four unfortunate falls, every one of them caused by not being more careful and losing my balance.  The results have been painful reminders to look ahead carefully, to check and double check the terrain and to know with some clarity what the next steps should be to move ahead on solid ground.  Most of the time, my equilibrium is good and for that, at this stage in life, I am most grateful.



Comments (3)

  1. My karate senseii used to say – the ‘hit’ that hurts the most is the one that you don’t see coming – like when you hit your foot against the bedpost when you wake up in the middle of the night… I imagine that ‘losing your balance’ feels the same way – it happens so quickly that it happens inspite of your best awareness and prudence… glad you’re doing well, Gary, and knowing you, you will be back in your best health soon!

  2. The difference may be that you see it coming once you’re going down, but it’s often too late to change the trajectory of the fall. However, it is possible to minimize the damage by knowing how best to land. A soft landing so much better than a hard one. What I have tried to do on more than one occasion is to roll my body and not extend a stiff arm lest it break. That might have come from playing sports a long time ago. Regardless, I am fortunate and have bounced back, well, maybe not bounced, but I’m doing fine, thank you. And, I had my second vaccine shot this morning.
    Grateful for all…

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