I Fall Down


Total wipeout on this morning’s run. One of those falls where I was toodling along one sec, then on the ground so fast and hard, my brain was jangling and I didn’t know which way was up. Why is the sidewalk so close to my face? Why does my wrist feel like it has snapped apart? Why did that dog jump in my way?

It started off a great little summer jaunt. After a day or two of rest the legs felt frisky. The air was clear after yesterday’s humidity. I powered up the Williamsburg bridge incline for some good hill work. Then I picked up the pace for the final mile.

Ten blocks from home everything went south even though I was heading north. A dogwalker was coming my way, his Irish terrier behind him and unaware of my approach. As I pulled alongside the walker, the leashed dog startled, barked, and bounded from behind his person right into my path. In a fraction of a second I knew the dog wasn’t trying to bite me, it was just getting right in my path.

To avoid a collision, I spun left and felt my legs whip out from under me. Maybe I collided with the dog or got tangled in the leash, I’m not sure.

My left hand broke the fall, with my wrist taking most of the weight although my whole left side banged down pretty hard for some definite road rash.

“I didn’t see what happened!” the alarmed dog owner said as he reached for my (hurting) hand to hoist me up. Ouch.

I was too addled to question how it was possible he hadn’t seen anything since it happened right in front of his face. Instead I shook myself off, reached out to pet the dog who was now sniffing me rather than barking, and then waved off the pair before wobbling the rest of the way home.

Nothing seemed broken or sprained, though now the first Tylenol have worn off and my arm is hurting enough to make the ASDF side of the keyboard a challenge. And major bruising is underway.

I’m downing more pain pills and telling myself not that I was lucky but that a hard fall now and then is a good thing. I watch my little kids fall and jump back up all the time. I also have a running friend who has a knack for tripping up on invisible things once in a while and taking amazingly dramatic falls right as you’re talking to her. She always bounds back up and carries on, pretending in deadpan fashion that nothing happened and she wasn’t just ass over teakettle but has heard everything you’ve just said. (It’s hilarious.)

Maybe we grownups need reminding that we’re not always upright and in control, that the ground is right there under our feet, waiting to test our resilience. Or something like that.

But enough with the sidewalk-spun philosophy lesson. Could someone come help me open this dang bottle of pills?

I can barely grip this
I can barely grip this