skinned knees // a story worth telling

A friend of mine recently told me about another friend of hers who has never skinned her knees.
Wait. What?
That was my response to this fact.
Let me give you a little background...
Two weeks before Ashley's wedding, I was running on campus at IU and tripped. I slid not just on my knees, but on my shins - skinning the entire front half of both legs.
The morning of Ashley's wedding we did a spin class, and I somehow managed to fall off the bike - feet still hooked in - further scraping up my legs.
By the time the ceremony rolled around, my legs were akin to a five year old's - and the dresses were short. Fortunately, Ashley was such a stunning bride that ain't nobody was looking at these legs.
But the thought of never having skinned a knee is basically incomprehensible to me, as someone who still, at age 26, needs a bandaid from time to time. I wanted to ask my friend 1,000 questions: Did she not play outside when she was little? Is she more careful than me? Did she never learn to ride a bike? To roller blade? Did she never have one too many glasses of wine? Does she not have brothers? So her legs are like, perfect? Scar free?
I didn't get to ask these questions, as I've never met this sweet, careful girl. But it did get me thinking about our experiences and how they shape us into who we are. And I think there's something to be said for those times when we're running so fast we trip - when we're too passionate to care about the consequences. When we know we probably shouldn't dive in with such fervor, for fear we might get hurt. When we're thrilled and willing to go all in - never thinking about what it will feel like when we hit the bottom.
I had sushi with my friend, Casey, last night and she said: Whitney, if you're not working at it, is it really working?
Things that come easily - skinned knee free - they're pleasant, yes. But when we're really working at it and pushing through the hard times in life, when we aren't afraid of how hard we could fall - isn't that what makes us grow, and what makes this life worthwhile?
I don't often err on the careful side of life. I like a plan and a tactical approach to things, yes. But I'm typically pretty willing to dive right in. And maybe that's led to a life of some seriously scarred knees. But I'd like to think even the deepest of scars are telling a story, and that I'll laugh at the way I looked pitiful on the altar at Ashley's wedding - or the way that thing didn't quite pan out.
Because in the end, if we're not living a story that's worth telling, are we really living a story worth writing at all?