Monday, April 28, 2008

Hubris

I had the best reason in the world to skip my Saturday workout: My dad, whom I haven't seen since my wedding two years ago, had just rolled into town for a visit. I felt bad leaving him so soon, but I HAD to squeeze in a little exercise. For one thing, I was fresh off a Weight Watchers meeting, during which I recorded the most unfortunate gain of a pound and a half. For another, that evening we were meeting my in-laws for drinks and dinner at Original Joe's, home of a chicken parm platter the size of your head. If I didn't burn at least a few calories beforehand, I'd feel miserable, so I laced up my running shoes and hit the street.

It was a magnificent, sunny day, and as I breezed down the sidewalk, I congratulated myself for getting some exercise, even when I didn't want to. I just couldn't believe how awesome I was. MAN, AM I AWESOME, OR WHAT, I thought to myself. In fact, I was so busy showering myself with praise that I didn't see in front of me a giant slab of pavement sticking up from a crack in the sidewalk. And so I tripped, ass over teakettle.

I actually think the fall might have looked sorta cool. Kind of like a stuntman or something. I had been running pretty fast (no doubt energized by all of the copious patting of myself on my back), and this particular piece of sidewalk was sticking up a good two inches. It was a MIGHTY tumble. Arms flailing wildly, both feet leaving the ground ... I think I even managed to gasp out a "HO-NOOOoooooo!" before my body smacked the pavement. Though it didn't happen all at once. No, my right knee struck first, followed by my left hand, then my left shoulder, and for the grand finale, my face. For a few moments, I just laid there, stunned. Um, what just happened here? What the hell is the sky doing over there TO THE RIGHT? And why is there a sidewalk touching my cheek?

But soon my mind wandered over to all the pain and blood and tears. I continued to lay on the sidewalk, hoping someone would come over and give a girl a hand. But nope. Nobody. This made me feel embarrassed, which made me cry harder. Then I saw bloody scrapes on my hands and felt an ugly ache in my knee, and this made me cry harder. And then I realized that not only was no one coming to help me, but I was still going to have to drag my ass another nine blocks to my house. AND THEN I CRIED HARDER.

But then ... THEN! ... I remembered ravioli. The heaping plate of ravioli I planned to enjoy at dinner. The rich, cheesy, meaty, mushroomy house-made ravioli. Ravioli whose sauce I would sop up with a hunk of butter-smeared sourdough. With a wince and a groan, I pulled myself into a sitting position. Then I stood up, cautiously. I inspected my bloody hands and my already-swollen knee, then stared ahead at the sidewalk, and I started to move. One wobbly foot in front of the other, a slow and limpy gait that, yes, could be classified loosely as a run. And run I did, all the way home, completing my 45-minute workout. This, my friend, is how dedicated I am to my food.

Somehow I am pretty sure my dad's visit is to blame for all this. Practically the moment he arrives, I am transformed into a 6-year-old girl again, walking into the house blubbering "I fell dow-wnnnnn!" And he saved the day with that perfect, comforting dad response. He gave me a great big hug, walked me over to the sink and poured alcohol on the cuts, and then made me laugh with a joke about my "sidewalk gymnastics."

So I survived, with the following mementos: a banged-up right knee with doughnut-sized abrasion (complete with impression of groove in sidewalk); cut on left palm; cut on side of left hand; two very sore fingers; patch of road burn on left shoulder; and scrape on chin (which my father-in-law helpfully pointed out looks more like a pimple than a scrape.)

On the plus side, maybe all that will keep people from staring at my purple toe.

1 comment:

Doc said...

Amy: You have the most amazing medical experiences. I mean, truly. It's not necessarily the quantity of suffering, or the severity, but the bizarre nature of nearly all of it. I mean, it's not just a blog -- it's an EMT training manual. It's a Red Cross reference. It's a First Aid aid. You get my drift. Me, I just have a painful cyst on my butt. *Boring*