Tuesday, July 23, 2013

When you fall for no reason

I was walking down from the elevated train platform yesterday after work, on perfectly normal stairs, wearing perfectly flat sandals. I was taking my time and not rushing. Close to the bottom, my left ankle rolled - I don't know why. As I fell, I dropped my book and my bag, managed to catch myself so I didn't tumble and ended up sitting down on my bottom kind of hard. My hands broke my fall by splaying out on the (disgusting, dirty) tile of the stairs. Gross.

It scared me: what was happening to my aging body if I couldn't even walk slowly down some stairs in flat shoes without hurting myself? I'd had my eyes on the ground with no smartphone or other distractions. How the HELL did this happen?

I didn't move. Since my purse was still on my shoulder and my book bag had landed upright at the foot of the stairs, I left my paperback splayed face down next to it and sat there and tapped. I tapped on my fear more than the pain, but from tapping on the fear, my left ankle began to feel better. Commuters streamed around me, looking but dismissing me since I seemed all right.

I didn't care. I tapped until I calmed down and then walked home. Since then I've tapped on it more. Today my left foot feels bruised and sore and I'm walking more carefully than ever. Do I already have the stability of an old woman?

Tomorrow I will turn 47 years old. My new goal is to do whatever it takes to stop this falling business before it becomes a habit. I don't know if it will take tapping, orthopedic care, my chiropractor, a medical doctor, head shrinking or what, but this can't continue. In flat shoes, walking leisurely and calmly, with my eyes on the stairs, my ankle rolled and I fell. What the f---?

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