What I may have in endurance I certainly lack in the coordination department. It humors my family and my friends. Sometimes I walk down a hallway and I hear my husband ask, “Did you just run into the wall?” Yes, yes I ran into the wall. My friends laugh because I can be walking down the street and randomly roll my ankle and fall over.
As a matter of fact the day my husband took me on a trip to propose to me, we started our day out with a lovely lunch in a small town in Northern Michigan. As we left and walked toward the car I rolled my ankle, fell to the ground and cut both of my legs and hands. Later he confessed that when I went down he was a bit ticked because he had big plans for the day and he didn’t want me hurt and not be able to follow through. At least he knew what he was getting himself into.
The first time I met his family I was walking with a future brother-in-law to be and chatting. I looked behind me to check something out and landed right into a garbage can. It wasn’t just any garbage can either. It was the type that is mounted to the ground and to make it look nice and fancy it had tiny pebbles all along the outside. Not only did I fall half way into the garbage but I left with both of my legs bruised as well as my ego.
So it shouldn’t be a surprise to you that this lack of coordination also carries into my running. Luckily the only ankle rolling I have done thus far was during a race down a mountain. But I have had my share of bizarre collisions.
The first collision occurred one beautiful afternoon when my husband took me for our first run along the Chicago Lakefront Trail. He patiently ran all the way down to the Shedd Aquarium with me and as we headed back we passed the Chicago Yacht Club. I was running and enjoying the view when next thing I felt was a thump on my forehead. I had passed a couple and the gentleman was pointing something out to his companion. As he stuck his arm out, my forehead made direct contact with the back of his hand. I kept running and looked back and the poor guy looked absolutely baffled. When I caught back up to my husband all I could say was, “That guy just hit me!” After some explaining all he could say was that I probably deserved it. Just kidding!
I’ve mentioned before that a pigeon flew right into my head during a run along the East River. I like to think that somehow this is a sign of good luck. It still ranks as one of the more disgusting things that has happened to me.
Last year during a Saturday long run we decided it would be wise to cut across Manhattan from the West Side along 14th Street. This sounded like a great idea until we remembered halfway in that it was one of the busiest streets in the city. As I tried to keep up my pace weaving in and out of people I tripped in a hole and was thrown into a pole. Trying to steady myself and not fall into a crowd, I took the brunt of the fall with my hip into the pole and the rest with my hands as they scraped along the sidewalk. Nothing is more embarrassing than watching a crowd gasp in slow motion during your own collision. My husband somehow missed this and when he turned around I was picking myself up off the ground. “What happened?” he asked. “Nothing,” I replied and told him to keep going. I wanted out of that situation as fast as possible.
Looking back on these memories is hilarious now but some of them have left me with bruises, both physically and egotistically. As a kid I remember looking at my bruised legs and wondering if I would ever have a point in my life where I wasn’t banged up somewhere. As you can see this pattern started early on in my life. People who have just met me find it amazing that I was a figure skater. But most of these times I serve as a great source of amusement to those around me. Heck, as I read this I find that I even amuse myself. I am looking forward to whatever new bumps and collisions my running might lead me to.