Being fifty-something, I’ve done some embarrassing things in the past.
But last night, I hit an all-time low. Literally.
I fell over in the street, my own street, just a few metres from my front gate.
It was just on dark and I was treating myself to an after-dinner power walk. I’d almost reached the traffic lights at the major, well-lit intersection near home.
At the last minute I decided (there was my mistake) to sprint for the pedestrian button to save standing watching the little red man flash for a full lights cycle.
I tripped on uneven ground (see, not my fault), gathered speed through three or four flailing steps, heading downhill before lurching sideways and landing full force on my potato-sack rump. Elegance personified.
My reading glasses flung off my head and slid down the path.
When I looked up all I could see were lines of cars stopped at the lights, their windows filled with incredulous-looking faces with mostly shocked, “O” shaped, mouths.
Luckily Mr P was there to help me crawl – ungracefully – to a standing position. A young passerby stopped to offer his help, too (very kind).
A quick triage found nothing broken and just some bitumen rash on my hands and wrist.
I was fortunate … and determined.
We headed off and finished our planned walk. I wasn’t giving in.
Apart from the humiliation of falling in public, I have long associated “the fall” with ageing.
“Oh, she had a fall” seems very acceptable for the elderly. Not for me.
I remember my mum having a series of falls in the street just prior to becoming ill and I saw it as a sign … a beginning of the end, if you like.
Prior to yesterday, I hadn’t fallen over for a long time.
I’m not counting the tumble I took in the Toolangi State Forest in January. That rabbit hole I stepped in was well-camouflaged and I was distracted setting up this shot:
A fall does give you a fright, makes you feel vulnerable and fills your head with “what-ifs”.
By the time we reached home I had pin-heads of blood forming in the tiny curls of flesh on my palms and some inexplicable pain about the groin area.
Google soon told me that was probably referred pain from a minor back strain after my fall (or possibly a broken pelvis, but let’s not go there).
Today I have some back twinges and a bruised hip. Nothing major. No signs of anything ending, just another day beginning.
I have a new-found respect for my well-padded hips and thighs. No longer will I think of them as fat, potato-sacky and bulbous.
They are evolutionary adaptations to modern living in the urban forest, where falls on bitumen are common (if inelegant).
Darwin would be delighted.