Why do we fall?
Two people fell this week at the gym where I work out. They were both middle-aged women, and both falls were centered around some sort of running. As I reflected on what happened in each instance, I saw some very good learning lessons I’d like to share. But first, let me tell you about what happened. The first incident took place on the treadmill.
That morning, we were all doing rounds with weights and differing equipment. Part of the workout included using the treadmill or running outside. It was muggy in July, so many people elected to “treadmill it up” in the comfort of the gym fans and air conditioning. Therefore, no one got to have a dedicated machine to themselves.
When the fall happened, the lady got on the treadmill and hit start. The problem was a much faster runner had just been on that machine, and it resumed its previous speed. The lady tried to slow it down and step off the machine simultaneously, but the belt grabbed her foot and slung her backwards off the machine.
Another gym member literally dove to her rescue, unplugging the machine, and helped get her up to a comfortable position so she could assess any damage. She received some road rash on her elbows and knees and a couple of bruises.
The next fall happened outside. We were running in the early morning. It was before the sun came up, and a lady misjudged the distance between the curb and the road, tripped and came down hard on her left knee and right ankle. We rushed over to check on her, and we found she needed help getting up and back inside.
Another member and I lifted her up and shouldered her back in. As we were limping along, I realizing she was mostly OK and decided to lighten the mood a little by saying, “There are a lot easier ways of getting out of a workout, you know.” She laughed, and that was good sign.
I can’t help but remember a scene from the movie “Batman Begins” with Christian Bale. In it, young Bruce Wayne falls into a well, breaking his leg. While there, he gets swarmed by bats and is overcome with fear. His dad rappels down the well shaft, comforts him and brings him back up to safety. As he carries Bruce back into their house he says, “Why do we fall Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.”
Isn’t that such powerful statement? You see, when life hits you and knocks you down, people tend to do one of two things. They either take the hit and go on battered and bruised, or they get angry and lash out. Neither of these approaches will have a favorable long-term outcome, and most of the time, those attitudes lead to quitting.
But there is a third strategy, which Mr. Wayne so eloquently and concisely illustrated in the above scenario.
“Learn to pick ourselves up.”
When falls/ fails happen, that’s the que that it’s time to start learning. As a real estate investor, this might mean you went over on your rehab, which killed the profit on your flip. It could mean that you installed bad tenants on a rental property because the house doesn’t cashflow and you took the first applicant with cash because you couldn’t afford the vacancy. Now, it’s not only a headache but you have folks mistreating the property and not paying on time.
In each of these scenarios there’s an opportunity to learn and grow. And if you take advantage of that opportunity, you will be a better person and a better investor on the other side.
I believe our ladies took that opportunity. It would’ve been easy to get embarrassed, sull up and quit, but instead, they decided to learn. They learned to check the machine and be more vigilant. They learned it was OK to fall. They learned they had surrounded themselves with people who cared for them and wanted to lift them up. And you know what? They both showed up the next day at 5:30 a.m. ready to get after.
Learn to pick yourself up.
Joe and Ashley English buy houses and mobile homes in Northwest Georgia. For more information or to ask a question, go to www.cashflowwithjoe.com or call Joe at 678-986-6813.