Monday, February 2, 2009

My History of Falling

Running through the snow this afternoon I only slipped once. It was at the bottom of a hill as I prepared to turn a corner. As I shuffled for balance and arched my back in an attempt to maintain my composure I took a deep breath when I came to a stop. Victory. I had not fallen.

I thought of my history of falling as I finished my run home, running at a fraction of the pace I’d normally carry on dry ground. I smiled knowing that it didn’t really matter how far or fast I was running, after all I run because I want to. I’m not reporting to anyone.

Back to the history to falling. As my fingers regained their circulation, I began to remember all the times, occasions, circumstances and instances of falling. I can’t remember all of them, but I do remember certain repeating situations.

First, I learned to cross country ski my sophomore year of high school. I took it up because I couldn’t bear running all winter. It was also the pastime of many a good runner in the state. I also really like being outside. Anyway, learning to cross country ski involved a lot of falling. A lot. So much so that it was a year and a half before I made it through any day of skiing without falling. This included racing. I fell going uphill; I fell going down hill. I fell skiing quickly, slowly, straight and around corners. I fell close to people, into people, onto people, in front of people and all by myself. I fell on poles and broke them. This reminded me of falling in first grade at a roller rink when I broke the arm of Mrs. Morrisey. She was the mom of my friend Rebekah.

Second, I have had weak ankles for most of my life. Doing balance drills my junior year of college solved most of this problem, though I still wipe out once in a while. My most memorable locations for falling as a result of weak ankles include my high school hallway, the main hallway of Jackson High School during passing period (while there for field experience), in front of the entire 8th grade on the second day of school last year, and on the corner of 25th and Cleveland Ave while running. That was definitely the worst one. I scraped my knee open, and my chin, and my hands. I stumbled around for several days after because the scab on my knee made it difficult to bend my knee.

I also fell down the stairs at school last year. They were wet; I was in a skirt and heels. It was picture day which always leads to a day of lost productivity and distraction, both of which put me in a foul mood. The fall was the last straw…well, that or the fact that my phone broke in half in the course of the fall. I couldn’t use my right arm the next day because of the strain it took from holding onto the railing as I fell.

Last, but not least, I have fallen twice while running races. The first was in Kodiak, Alaska when I was a sophomore in high school. I was pushing for the lead and tripped and face planted in front of Curtis’s coach (NOTE: Didn’t know Curtis or his coach at this point). He started running toward me. I jumped up and kept going, as much as out of embarrassment as anything. I finished dirty and in second and distressed. The other racing fall of my running career came my very last cross country race. I face planted in the mud once again…and lost a lot of time and momentum. At that point I was used to falling, and relatively unsurprised. It’s not like it was the first time. :)

1 comment:

  1. oh ashley.
    when i started reading this, i remembered the infamous fall down the steps... and then you called curtis and cried.

    you and curtis are so cute.