Friday, December 11, 2009

Gravity Always Wins

Remember that John Mellencamp (or was he Cougar then?) tune, The Authority Song? I fight authority, authority always wins? Well in my case, if you substitute the word gravity for authority then you've got my theme song. I fall down—a lot. Not sure why, but me vs gravity is an ongoing battle, and gravity is certainly winning the war.

It all began when I was 9. I skidded out on some sand on my bike and took a major wipeout that led to an ER visit. The doctors and my parents were understandably concerned about the injury to my nose that occurred when the crossbar landed on my face. However, I kept trying to draw their attention to the more painful knee vs pedal injury, which has plagued me in various ways ever since. Later, when my brother and I were allowed to ride our bikes on a busier street, I got run off the road by a flower delivery truck and crashed into a chain link fence. Ouch! I have a scar on my elbow from that incident. I still remember my mortified brother continuing on without me! After that, I more or less scratched bikes off my list of can-do activities. (I'm not counting the incident on a lonely road in Indiana with my now-husband running along side me when a large dog came bolting after us and took a chunk out of my tush. Somehow I managed to stay on the bike that time—score one for me vs. gravity!) I ended up married to a guy who lives to ride bikes and owns seven or eight of them at last count. He goes bike riding by himself. It's better that way.

Skiing was another disaster of epic proportions. There was the incident with the tow rope when I tried to avoid a kid who had fallen in front of me and took the metal bar to the fanny (are you sensing a theme here?) leaving a HUGE bruise. Another time I had to be tied to the instructor to get down off the bunny slope. In an ironic twist, we returned to that mountain years later and my daughter took a lesson from the same instructor. I swear he remembered me...

Ice skating? No. Just no. Rollerblading? An even bigger NO. NO. NO.

Lately, however, I haven't even needed extreme sports such as bike riding, skiing or ice skating to bring me down. In October, I fell out of my car into the driveway and T-boned myself on my own laptop, breaking a rib. Yes, you read that right. Do you know anyone else who has ever uttered that particular sentence? I didn't think so. I blame my husband for this accident. He parked his truck at a weird angle in the driveway, which forced me to do the same, putting our downhill-facing driveway further down than it normally is when I step out of my car. The weird thing is, I don't really remember falling. I remember shifting my laptop bag to my left shoulder and then I was in the driveway with the computer wedged in my rib. What happened in between is a mystery. When I told him about what happened, my father suggested I lead with my feet. Ha. Ha. Ha. That's really funny, dad. Thanks. My husband blames the driveway, which rushed up to meet me. By the way, the computer was just fine. Thanks for asking. And, yes, I did check its condition before I took a look at the swiftly swelling rib area.

I recently stepped into my daughter's landfill of a room, encountered beads under my feet and went sprawling, face down onto her floor. "Watch out for the beads," she was saying as I hit the floor. Gee, thanks for the warning!

Just this week, I stayed in a hotel for my aunt's funeral. It was just me and a king-sized bed, which I somehow managed to miss when returning from a middle-of-the-night potty run. One minute standing up heading for bed, next minute laying on the floor. As my cousin so astutely put it, isn't the king-sized bed the focal point of the hotel room? Yes, it is, but somehow I managed to miss it. As we trudged through sleet and snow to get to my aunt's grave site, my cousins propped up their elderly parents—and me. They weren't sure who was the bigger liability.

Gravity always wins.