I’m no stranger to falling down and, as my friends will tell you, I have a long history of tripping, losing my footing, and face planting, usually in an epic fashion. In fact, my fall down a hill of frozen mud one early morning in college is a story my college roommates love to recount every time we get together. EVERY. TIME. Ahem. Frankly, they’ve never let me live that one down. Even I have to admit that I probably looked like Wesley in A Princess Bride tumbling down that hill. In the dark. At 2 am. While slightly (read: definitely) intoxicated. All that was missing was me faintly yelling, “As you wiiiiiiishhhh” as my body rolled like a sack of potatoes down that long, frozen hill. Also? If you didn’t get the movie reference, we can’t be friends. #notsorryatall
A few years ago, I fell down an entire ski slope, throwing poles, skis and gear across the icy mountain, while the Fruit Loops watched in embarrassed amusement. As I careened to a stop, bruised and scraped, Fruit Loop #1 congratulated me on “the best fall I’ve ever seen in my life.”
When I began training for triathlons, I had to consider wrapping my knees in bubble wrap because of the number of times I tipped over while still clipped into my bike pedals.
I once even tripped on a curb on the way into a bank, winding up facedown on the concrete sidewalk in front of the bank manager’s office window. If you wonder if it’s mortifying for young, 20 something bank teller offer to call your husband to pick you up, I can say with authority that, yes, yes it’s most mortifying. I also appreciate a bank that has a well stocked First Aid kit, if I’m being honest.
Losing your footing as an adult is not all it’s cracked up to be.
Frankly, falling down used to be fun.
Well, not fun, per se, but, when you fell as a kid, it was no big thing. You tripped, you scraped your knee, you cried. You got a kiss, a healthy spray of Bactine and a Disney themed bandaid.
Little kids have the luxury of tripping without a care in the world.
Toddlers can scrape their knees and not worry that their kid will miss soccer because they can’t do their share of the carpooling.
Kids can face plant on the playground and not give two shits that the cuts on their hands mean making dinner will be a pain in the, well, scraped hands.
Motherhood has ruined falling for me, I must say.
Every time I lose my balance or trip down the stairs, I immediately think about what will happen if I’m laid up on the couch with a broken ankle.
Moms don’t have time for broken bones.
We don’t have time for injuries from tripping over soccer cleats on the stairs or a dog that is constantly underfoot.
Every time a mom fall down the stairs, her entire meticulously cultivated schedule of carpools, PTA meetings, laundry piles and workload flashes before her eyes.
Ask a mom about the last time she fell.
Guaranteed, she’ll tell you that she ripped the bannister out of the wall with the strength of the Incredible Hulk because she was hanging on for dear life. Because laundry doesn’t get done when the captain falls, people.
But, for all of my clumsy pratfalls, nothing compares to my fall this weekend.
I really outdid myself, I must say.
I didn’t so much fall as I did catapult myself at a high speed right into a rocky trail. HARD. And with ZERO grace. I managed to do some pretty decent damage to my knee in the process:
My ego took a hit, too, I don’t mind saying.
My friend and I had set out on a long training run for our upcoming marathon. As our work schedules had been out of sync for a while, we were eager to use the long miles to catch up. It was a crisp, cool morning and the temperature was a runner’s dream. We decided to run on a local trail and, as we set out, we congratulated ourselves for carving out some time to kibitz and exercise. In a word, we were feeling smug.
A few paces into our run, I tripped lightly on a tree root but was able to maintain control. I giggled nervously because tripping on tree roots usually does not end well, particularly when I’m involved. We continued on and dove into our first bit of gossip.
And then, BAM. My foot caught the edge of another root.
Before I knew what hit me, I. WENT. FLYING.
Airborne, people. I like to think that I looked like a graceful version of Superman gliding through the sky but I’m pretty sure I looked like a screaming, flailing idiot. In fact, I’m sure of it.
In an instant, there was pain on every part of my body. My knee. My elbow. My head. Even my uvula hurt, it seemed.
As I stared at my friend’s face looking down at me, with the canopy of trees behind her, I started to full on ugly cry. I didn’t have time for an injury and, moreover, I was pissed that my morning of gossip and kibitzing had come to a screeching halt. Literally.
And, I *might* have ordered my friend to leave me for dead on the trail. “Just go, I have to live here now because I’m never going to be able to get up.”
Something tells me she’s not going to let me live this fall down, either.
But, as I wiped the tears from my face and pulled myself together, I did what every other mother does when she’s been kicked to the ground: I let off a string of expletives, dusted myself off, and got up.
Because that’s what we moms do: when we get kicked to the ground, whether by rocks in a trail or the trials and tribulations of motherhood, we rise up.
And for that, we all deserve a kiss and Disney themed bandaids more often.