What I learned by falling down
Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,
I started loading peaches into the truck at the storage building at 7:30am on Friday. I worked on my feet at the Farmer’s Market until 4pm. Then we went back and loaded boxes into the trucks for Saturday’s locations until 6pm.
I was dirty. Tired. Dehydrated. But having a blast.
This morning I woke up at 4:30 and drove to Franklin where I helped unload another truck full of peaches, before driving back south to sell at the Columbia Farmer’s Market.
I love it. I do.
There is little time for triathlon training. I’m okay with that right now. I’m doing what I can, when I can, and enjoying the chances I do get.
This “summer of peaches” has been good for me in so many ways.
Working hard each day has reminded me that work is a good thing. No matter how frustrating jobs can be, or how tired you may feel, work is good. To see my hands dirty. To feel a sunburn on my neck. These are literal examples, but you can find comparable things in all settings.
A few days ago I tried to carry 3 boxes at once across the yard at our office. The top box was over my head, so I couldn’t see where I was going. I stepped on a rock, turned my ankle, hit the ground and skinned my knees, and sent 75 pounds of peaches flying across the yard. I almost saved it and caught my balance. But not quite.
As I gathered the peaches and put them back into the boxes my friend Bill walked out the door to find me: bloodied, crawling on my hands through the yard, peaches everywhere.
I’m not sure if he laughed first or asked if I was okay first.
Both counted equally in mind.
We gathered the 75 pounds of peaches as we laughed at my skinned knees, the awkward way my legs wobbled like a baby calf as I tried to stop my fall.
Life is full of falls. And sometimes they scatter our hopes, dreams, and conceptions about ourselves everywhere. We skin our knees. Twist our ankles.
But having people who love you around you – who are willing to laugh at the craziness with you and ask if you’re okay is important and makes it all worthwhile. I’ve learned to talk to people again. Ask about their life. And see myself as someone who just wants to put in the best effort possible regardless of whether or not anyone notices.
A few men my age have come to me recently and asked about my Leap of Faith. I don’t have good answers for them. I just tell them I was tired of wrestling with it, and knew it was time to listen to God’s voice in my life.
Life isn’t always fair. God gave us free will – for better or worse. Sometimes it means falling down and making a big mess.
But I also think He opens doors for us. And if we’re willing to walk through them we’ll find happiness in unexpected places.
Good things are happening.
I accepted a new full time job on Friday afternoon that I’m really excited about. I believe the new job, along with my interim time with the Peach Truck, were both what God had in mind when He pushed me and challenged me for so many years to listen to His voice.
It was an awkward stumble and fall when I finally did. But on the way down I found a way to fly.
If I fall I’m gonna find a way to fly. – A.L.O.
I’m working with my friends at the Peach Truck for a couple more weeks before starting the next chapter. I’m also sticking with them for the rest of the summer every weekend.
It’s just too much fun to give up. And – as I said, I do love it. Every exhausting, hot, dirty minute of it.
I love you,
Tues: Swam 2000
Wed: Rode 26 miles
Thurs: Ran 8 miles
Sun: planned ride