The Good Thing About Going Downhill
I was walking around the block near my house with my older
daughter one day, when she startled me with a particularly keen
"You know what?
I like going down hill better than going up hill,
because when I go downhill I slip forwards."
I marvelled at the depth of this seemingly innocuous
comment, and murmured my appreciation and agreement while I turned the idea
over and over again in my mind.
How fascinating... when we walk UP a hill, we find ourselves slipping
almost unconsciously backwards on our heels... and when we walk DOWN a
hill, we slip forward into our toes.
I wondered if this concept had deeper significance in the realm of "going
downhill fast", where we nevertheless might be feeling good to be "on our
Conversely, when we "have a long uphill struggle", we discover that our
weight is pushing back down as we "dig in our heels".
I like to think that we need balance in our lives. Without the experience
of staying on our toes when things seem to be going downhill, we'd have
much less appreciation for the times when we dig in our heels for the long
Then there are some of us who enjoy those long, flat stretches, where we
can walk straight for miles!
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