Saturday, May 14, 2016

Learning How to Fall

by Beth Vogt @BethVogt

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? 


Beth K. Vogt believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” 

A nonfiction writer and editor who said she’d never write fiction, Beth is now a novelist with Howard Books. She enjoys writing inspirational contemporary romance because she believes there’s more to happily-ever-after than the fairy tales tell us. Connect with Beth on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or check out her blog on quotes, In Others’ Words.


  1. Beth, Thank you for the permission to fall and get back up. I sometimes forget that it is inevitable. After my on the ground experiences, I have shared with others what I have learned. It can be a bit embarrassing, however I have gleaned from others telling me about their life lessons after they fell.

  2. Cherrilynn: It's true we often want to hide our "on the ground" experiences. But I've learned a lot of important lessons from mine -- if I'm teachable. And my husband knocking me down? Well, that was truly one of the best moments of my life! :O)

  3. No matter how much it hurts, you have to get up and start going again. I'm speaking figuratively, of course. If you need assistance, don't be afraid to reach out. We all need a helping hand from time to time...

    1. Linda Lee: It's so true that sometimes we need to ask for a helping hand to get up when we've fallen down. Excellent point.

  4. Beth, this is wonderful. Falls are the best teacher. Great reminder, they hurt, but you learn and adapt.

    Side note: One of my sons took Judo for a while. When he was 11 he got hit by a car while riding his bike (no helmet - do not condone that and it was the day I didn't check as he left, of course). The car hit on his right side. Bruises big bruises there. But his worst injury was to his right elbow. Lost a chunk of skin that they couldn't even pull together to stitch. His head was fine. Everyone commented they were surprised he didn't conk his head. My son doesn't remember how he prevented his head from hitting the ground, the officers said the car hit him, he fell sideways and the bike got stuck under the bumper and the car pushed him a few feet like that. To this day, I swear it was the Judo lessons that prevented him conking his head. Like Karate they practice falling and slapping the mat in order to keep their head from hitting. I think he was getting his arm down from the Judo instinct and maybe it didn't go as fully planned since he ripped it up, but he still did enough to keep his head up and prevent anything worse.

    I would like to say he learned a lesson and never rode his bike without his helmet again. But he chose not to ride his bike ever again. Although, his girlfriend convinced him to ride bikes while on vacation (he's 21 now) and he wore a helmet :)

    Falling is painful, but we learn, and learning Karate or Judo helps us our falls prevent something worse (still get hurt, but it could be worse).

    1. Diane: I am so thankful your son is okay from that car accident -- for the most part. And you raise a good point: You fall enough times, some things become instinctual and the falls don't harm us like they could at first.

  5. My falls (and failures) are exactly what the Lord has used to build my speaking and writing ministry. Falling confirms our humanity. It's what we do with it that makes it all good.

  6. Thanks so much for your encouraging post, Beth. I really needed to hear this today!