Falling Down

on August 13, 2010 in Misc

A word to the wise…

If you’re doing something kind of unusual like, say, in the alley and climbing up onto your neighbor’s garage late at night, then you definitely don’t want to do something dumb.

alley b&w

Dumb can include….Well, leaving the keys to your place in one hand because in the back of your mind you’re thinking that it’s really so very easy to just step up on this box, then up onto this vertical narrow pipe (and why that pipe is jutting up out of the pavement I have no idea), then as your legs straighten into a one-foot standing position on that pipe you can grab the rain gutter above you and then…

I never got past this critical climbing point.

That’s because I fell.

falling cat

Suddenly and crazily I fell backwards and slammed down hard onto the alley pavement behind me.  Luckily my elbows and right thigh took the brunt of my fall.  Luckily too my biggest injury was a very painful blow to my ego.  How could I do something so incredibly STUPID?     WHY on earth did I think for one second that I could attempt even a simple dry-run on Bob’s high old garage wall with KEYS IN ONE HAND?

When I was in my bathroom washing my skinned elbows, I realized that I had in fact been distracted during my climb.  I don’t live in the suburbs, which are dead quiet at 11:15 on a weekday night.  I live in the city, and at all hours there are people out and about in my neighborhood.  Even late at night a few folks can be running, walking the dog, heading to the always-open grocery store a few blocks away.  There are also all kinds of windows that face that garage, and even though most were dark I still had the small fear that someone could be looking out one of them.  Hence I very foolishly let myself be distracted by the possibility of being seen by someone.

Layla would never make that mistake.

Like Layla, I should have stopped, taken some deep calming breaths, then focused with laser sharpness upon the job.  This means, first of all, EMPTYING MY HANDS!  In climbing every grip my hands make, every foothold my feet find, is of paramount importance.  I can never, ever, blow off even the simplest climb.  Being a rookie climber — and I’m really a rookie — is no excuse.

And so, next time I climb something (building, garage, tree, you name it), I will first stop and think, What would Layla do?

Unlike me, Layla would not screw up.

6 Responses to “Falling Down”

  1. Robert L. Read says:

    Glad you weren’t hurt much.

    This reminds me of separating my shoulder. I did a forward roll, which I had practiced many times, but this time I did it with a foam broadsword in my hand. Why I thought I could do that, I don’t know. Now I have a permanent bump. Call me fiddler crab.

    How did Layla get so sharp? Was she born that way, or did she learn the lessons that you are learning now when she was much younger?

  2. Helena says:

    Dear Fiddler crab — What smart questions. Of course Layla is far from perfect and there are some lessons she learned the hard way. She’s been bashed up and bruised. She’s fallen off structures and almost wiped herself out. She’ lucky she has survived her own mistakes. Just like me.

    Thanks for making me feel better.

  3. rickbuff53 says:

    Oh my!! I am soooo glad you’re o.k. If not, you could have been hurt very badly. Broken bones don’t scare you much but they should :-)

  4. Helena says:

    Rickbuff — Okay, now I’m freaked out again, just when I had calmed down. From now on I promise to stay in one piece and not break anything. But odds are I’ll still do dumb stuff.

  5. ann says:

    I totally agree with Robert. Our fictional Layla was probably a darling tomboy with scrapes and bruises and an occasional neon green cast. (I don’t quite picture an action hero in pink) Her parents were probably constantly worried she would never make it to adulthood, but at some point they gave up trying to protect their wild, free spirited daughter.

    I’m glad you’re ok. As you know, I love to ride my bike and I take a fall about once a year usually for some stupid reason like trying to dismount while still in motion. Never give up.

  6. Helena says:

    Ann – Yes, Layla was a tomboy who managed to survive into adulthood. But please don’t fall off your bike anymore. You know how much that hurts!