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ShoeHave I ever mentioned how I have a teeny bit of a klutzy streak?  Well, not all the time, but from time to time I’ve had some funny ‘hitches in my giddyup’ as that expression goes.  I’ve stumbled on carpet while walking in flats…right in front of my co-workers.  “We’ll have to move that next time,” I joke, after stumbling over nothing but air, ha ha.  I once tripped walking UP the stairs in my townhouse…slipping in my awesome zebra-striped fuzzy slippers holding a nice big glass of Merlot.  [Salt is AMAZING at absorbing red wine stains on brand new tan-colored carpet, just saying.]  The fuzzy slippers ended up in the Goodwill pile…turns out they’re no good on stairs.

Playing hockey definitely can be humbling too…slips and falls are pretty typical when learning how to skate, pass and shoot that puck!  And to avoid colliding with your teammates and opponents out on the ice!  In fact, when I took that beginner hockey clinic nearly 10 (!) years ago this fall (no pun intended), one of the very first things we learned to do was how to get up after we fell.  ‘Cause believe me, we fell.  A LOT.  We were suited up in our gear but didn’t skate with our sticks or practice puck handing.  Nope, we started out just learning basic skating skills.  I learned very quickly to appreciate the investment I made in the protective gear we’re required to wear.

After completing the 8-week clinic we got split into two equally matched teams and we joined the novice division of our local hockey league…and we were on our way!  And while I wouldn’t count myself as a super great player, I got to be fairly decent and really pushed myself far beyond what I ever thought I was capable of, both physically and mentally.

And I learned that it’s actually a lot less treacherous playing hockey in the more intermediate levels than the novice levels.  Why?  Because more skilled players know how to skate.  They know how to control themselves and how to avoid collisions.  We were taught how to skate with our head up, using peripheral vision when moving the puck.  It’s not easy!  But it’s absolutely essential.  Skating head down, charging forward at high speed leads to all kinds of problems. That’s kind of like driving and only looking at the hood of your car, rather than at the horizon as you’re supposed to. Another thing we learned?  “Keep your head on a swivel.”  Ahhh, so so so so true.  Many unintended collisions with teammates and opponents drove that lesson home for sure.

These days I’ve traded my hockey skates for my new shoe BFFs…my Asics from my favorite running store, Run 26!

Now, what’s going on with the shoes in this picture?  Well, I have a weakness for really awesome shoes with heels.  Or platforms.  These are Jessica Simpson’s brand and I just love ’em….they’re so different from all of my other shoes!  And they’re cut wide too; normally I can’t wear sandals with straps near the toes because they’re too narrow and they dig into the sides of my feet.  Ouch.  When your feet hurt, nothing else matters!

I do have fun in those shoes.  I don’t wear them for long events like a day of shopping, but I do wear them to work occasionally.  What’s the key to walking in high platforms?  Walk carefully but confidently…and keep your vision tilted very slightly downward so you can see exactly where you are stepping.

So on last Tuesday at work that didn’t happen.  Here I was in white denim jeans and those shoes walking around in our break room.  I had an open small Tupperware full of cut up tomatoes and cucumbers in olive oil and a little salt…a perfect mid afternoon snack!  And as I was leaving the break room my foot suddenly started to wobble.  You know that feeling when you think you’re going to fall but you then try to mentally ‘correct’ the feeling so you don’t fall?  You think oh man, I’m OK I’m OK I’m OK, no…I’m not going to fall, no wait…I AM going to fall oh SHIT…no, no, I’ve got this…all in a few split seconds.

SPLAT!  I fell down hard uttering some sort of yelp.  Onto a concrete floor, taking the brunt of it on my right knee, so I thought.  I was in a crumpled sort of sideways hands and knees position and in shock.  I tried getting up but my head was spinning.  Luckily two of my co-workers were there and grabbed me under each arm to get me back on my feet.  Oh man, I felt like such a turd!  What the hell happened?  My veggies went flying, and they cleaned it up for me.  I kept offering to help and they kept saying no.  They even had to scrub the concrete floor with soap, because there now was a puddle of slippery olive oil on it.  Amazingly, nothing spilled on my clothes!

Somehow I hobbled back to my desk, stopping by my Manager’s office to tell her what happened.  Another co-worker ran to the break room, filled a large plastic bag with ice and brought it back to me at my desk.

Through all of this I feel really damn lucky.  Turns out I landed on my upper shin and not my kneecap when I fell.  I didn’t break my wrist when I landed on the concrete.  I didn’t hit my head on the counter nearby and didn’t knock out any teeth.  See what I mean here?  I feel very fortunate.   And the ice really helped…these past few days there was not much swelling at all.  Painful, yes, but no sharp shooting pains.

I later realized my foot had wobbled on the border between the carpeted area of the break room and the concrete.  There was a small rubber lip at the edge of the carpeting.  I stepped halfway onto carpet and halfway onto concrete and there was the wobble.  I felt relieved that was the cause, rather than wobbling on a completely flat surface.  Guess my ego got the most bruising of all!

I did skip a couple of my workouts this week – I spent the evening with an ice pack on my shin and just rested.  And when I did get back in the gym I started out slowly on the treadmill.  My shin was feeling stiff, and a little movement really helped.  And I modified my weight training workouts so I wouldn’t need to do any kneeling on my right side.  It worked!

And now I have a colorful bruise that’s on the mend.  Don’t worry, I’m not going to post pictures of it (it’s about the size of a chicken breast).  Just imagine swirls of yellow, green and a little purple on top of a neon-white leg.  You get the idea!