If I were an Indian.
I have always, ALWAYS, been a klutz. If you are curious as to who could trip, fall, face plant, or otherwise maim themselves in the safest of situations…I’m your girl.
Back in my super fit dancing days, I was performing at an outdoor venue, hit mud, slid, fell, got mud in my hair (and EARS), and got right back up and finished.
I busted going down wooden steps in slick shoes at a child’s birthday party and dropped F bombs in front of a bunch of 3 year olds. Parents love me!
I fell down a handicap ramp. For serious. Who falls down a handicap ramp? ME.
I wiped out in a gravel driveway a few years ago. I tripped on the flip flop the was on my foot.
I ran for a ringing cellphone in socks on hardwood floor. My nose broke my fall as it grazed down the side of my ottoman. Rug burn on noses sucks. Just thought you’d like to know.
My coup de grace wasn’t a fall but more of a midair collision. I was tubing at the lake. My friend and I were sharing a tube meant for one person. Hello Darwin Award! The driver accidentally slung us into wake. We flew up in the air, hit each other hard, and hit the water. Thank God for life jackets! I could hardly move for three days: my right side and her left side were badly bruised and banged up.
To clarify, every one of these falls happened post arthritis diagnosis minus the dancing example. Sure, I fell prior but the falls weren’t as memorable and none resulted in permanent injury. I thought all of it was funny until I slipped on unmarked standing water in the entrance of Target. I had no problems with my ankle before that, and two years later, it’s still not the same.
It’s fair to say that the idea of falling now, thanks to Target, is frightening. To be honest, it really shook me up and I may have completely freaked out. I sometimes felt like my own safety police, trying to identify fall risks and determine ways around them. I built the idea of falling into the WORST. THING. EVER. and it really controlled what I did for a very long time. It was exhausting.
It’s also fair to say that increasing physical activity increases your risks if falling. I have been well aware of that for the past year and a half, and refuse situations that I think will inevitably lead to me laying myself out on the ground. No box jumps is my mantra.
This past week, I fell.
We were doing standing lunges: feet together, step out with one foot, knee to the ground, stand up. Repeat on other leg.
Easy right? But klutziness doesn’t discriminate between easy and hard, and it certainly doesn’t care if you’re afraid of something.
We were doing a long circuit with high reps. My second time through, I was on number 28 of 30 standing lunges. I was tired. My muscles were fatigued. I remember thinking ‘two more so let’s do your best and touch that knee to the ground.’ Note to self and others: it’s ok to hold back because you’re tired.
I stepped out with my left (bad ankle) leg, bent my right knee so that it was touching the floor, and the muscle around my right knee completely cramped/spasmed as I was coming up. At that point, both my legs turned to jello. I still innately don’t trust my left foot but I was able to pull it back underneath me and into a squat position.
I think I would’ve stayed upright if it’d been the other foot, but I feel like I still compensate some with my right so trying to shift some weight to a leg that was mush?
Ass. On. The. Ground.
I sat there for a second and assessed how I felt: I didn’t hurt. It was a true muscle cramp and unlike the Target fall, once I hit the floor and let the muscle relax, I felt fine.
Dignity and pride were both a bit bruised and bloodied.
The next day I was still fine. And the next. And then I was weirdly excited!
I fell! On the ground! And the world hasn’t ended! And it happened too quickly for me to even think about it!
I swear that there’s a point to this post. I talk a lot about fear in a previous post: fear of injury, fear of failure, fear of even trying because maybe I wouldn’t be able to.
As I continue on this path, I am constantly having to assess where these fears are coming from. What I’m learning is that many of my limitations are ideas rather than physical.
Facing these fears is some pretty heavy sh*t for all of us, and all of our fears are different. Those feelings are there for a reason but in my case, the reason isn’t always valid. Yes, it is absolutely necessary for us to protect ourselves and our bodies, but not at the expense of being fearful of life.
I have fallen lots of times (cringe). Only one of these times did it result in a serious injury. Yes, it is ok to be upset about an injury and protective of a body that has minor limitations. But no, it’s not ok to let one bad thing keep you from moving on with life.
Sometimes I swear I’m my own worst enemy!
TL/DR: I fell on my ass and didn’t die.