Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Taking a Tumble

I fell over on Sunday night.

I wasn't hurt at all, and it was probably far more exciting to see than to experience, but it served as a good reminder in the midst of improved mobility and balance. It's the first time I've fallen in New York, which is not bad (4 months!), but was inevitable, so it's good to have that out of the way.

It was late, dark, and at an intersection on Broadway in Queens. What I thought was level (or a ramp for wheelchairs or pushchairs) was in fact a 6" kerb, so over I went. Our normal impulse is to try to catch ourselves as we fall, but since I know that I don't have the strength in my right arm to do that, and it's a pretty terrible idea for an adult anyway, I now don't even try.

Instead, I let the little judo I learned 30 years ago, and the stage fall I learned 15 years ago take over, and collapse-rolled all my (substantial) potential energy into kinetic energy. While I'm sure it looked spectacular, as I said, I didn't hurt myself at all. I was lucky, though, to be falling onto a basically flat bit of sidewalk, without pillar, postbox or pole to break anything. Happily +Jared Sorensen was on hand to help me back up, and Joss was there to carry my pita bread, and all was well.

Before I moved back here, I had remembered New York sidewalks as being blissfully flat slabs of concrete, easily negotiable. I conveniently forgot that the sidewalks are far from flat, sloping from driveways, repeated parking, tree roots or just slightly sloping. They're studded with grates and basement hatches that are sometimes terrifying. But to my eye, they appear level and even until my foot has actually hit the ground. Or my ass does.