I’ve always been somewhat accident prone. It’s common among nearsighted people who wear glasses. We don’t have peripheral vision and we don’t see what’s below us unless we look down. I’ve always walked with my head down because otherwise I am likely to trip over NOTHING. Nothing is usually not nothing. It’s just stuff I don’t see…

Recently I fell in my house over NOTHING and got a mild concussion and black eye. This really stymied my career as a famous Nordic Skier at the Monte Vista Golf Course. I really could not go out and ski when the snow was optimal. The concussion made me tired, and I looked like a victim of elder abuse. Then there was the foot I broke in September, the months it has taken that to heal and the loss of certain elements of flexibility one needs to ski well and safely.

Today in a conversation with a friend about the question of heading up to the mountains to ski I said, “I don’t know. If I go I’ll go on the weekend when there are people up there. I don’t know what’s happened to me. I used to be fearless.” I was. Now I’m not. Then I said, “I fall. I don’t trust my body. I used to, but now I don’t.”

Back in the day I figured my DOG could call for help or maybe drive me home πŸ˜‰ . We didn’t have cell phones or beacons or GPS or anything to save us from danger except luck and someone missing us and, well, yeah, in my case the “Lassie Factor.” You know, “Lassie! Where’s little Timmy?”

I’ve been injured a lot over the years. I’ve never minded taking that risk. I’ve been hit by a truck (bad concussion that time) while riding my bicycle, I’ve injured my ACL, I’ve torn a ligament in the OTHER knee (leading to arthritis in both knees), I’ve been thrown from horses, fallen off bikes, rolled down hills (it used to be fun to run down them). I’ve skinned everything, had stitches everywhere…

But the last few years have been a long saga of shit. When I went to Switzerland and Iceland in 2015, I had a torn Achilles tendon (caused by Cipro interacting with another medication I take) which really stymied my ability to do anything. Add to that Iceland’s sadistic sense of humor. The featured photo is where we stayed in Iceland a landscape we never saw because the fog hung over everything the entire week. At least I made a movieIt is a classic, an evocative summation of my week in Iceland. Watch it. It will literally make time stand still. Werner Herzog wants it but I said no.

My fall in my house wasn’t — as I feared — over NOTHING. I fell over one of the pads that I use to protect my Chinese rug. I didn’t see it because the place where I tripped was in one of my numerous blind spots. Still, I’m relieved. Falling over NOTHING is scarier than falling over a pad on the floor. How did I learn what it was? I almost fell again…

I guess it’s not so awful that at this late date I am suddenly apprehensive about hurting myself, but it sure puts a damper on things.

23 thoughts on “Trust

  1. I fell over a quarter-of-an-inch lip on a dance floor. I haven’t wanted to dance since. I fell on my face in a flat parking lot. My cleated soles hung up on the asphalt. I don’t wear cleats. Garry never looks down. He trips over everything.

    I have a mental image of falling down the stairs and sometimes, I’m afraid to take that first step. I don’t mind going up because I never fall upstairs. I didn’t think it was because I’m near-sightedness. I thought I was merely klutzy. Maybe I’m nearsighted AND klutzy?

    I thought it was just ME. Glad I am not alone. How do nearsighted women walk around in high heels? How do they stay UPRIGHT?

  2. I’m one of the nearsighted and clumsy brigade too. I fell over in a shopping centre car park a few years ago bruised both my feet. They have never been quite the same. I don’t like getting on escalators to go down. I can handle up but taking that first step to go down terrifies me. The only way I can do it is to count myself on. My sister got mad at me in Singapore for counting aloud.

  3. I fell over a box of train bits my husband generously a stored on the bathroom floor a couple of months back. Hit my head on the door and bashed various bits. Think I broke a toe? Then two weeks ago I was in my yoga class.. Over stretched my hip joint. Still limping… I sympathise and empathise xx keep doing things!

  4. I doubt I would have become a runner without contact lenses because of my severe nearsightedness, starting in 4th grade. The few times I had to wear my glasses while running I hated it for the reasons you describe, especially lack of clear peripheral vision and fear of tripping. Lasik surgery in 2000 was amazing – no more glasses or contacts! – but eventually my eyes continued deteriorating so now I’m back to needing some correction (much less than before, at least) and wearing contacts while running or hiking. I still trip and fall occasionally, and hate it when I do, but the alternative – not going out there to play – is worse. I’m sure some day that equation will change. Not looking forward to that. But as you note, often the worst falls occur at home. Too many times to count I’ve almost fallen backwards over my Aussie who silently puts himself right behind me when I’m standing at the kitchen sink or looking out a window!

  5. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I too am nearsighted but it has never been a problem until I developed the astigmatism. Then going downstairs took courage and a firm grip on the railing as everything was slanted. I bruised my tail bone and it took nearly a year to recover. That is why I adore my purple tushie cushie… Anyway the movie of your trip to Iceland was quite mind bending or numbing – I am having a hard time determining which.

    • A long time ago a friend defined a movie as a camera pointed at something that moves. That was all that was moving there in the town of Hellnar. The wind blew but who has seen the wind, right? Not a bird, not a blade of grass, nothing. Just those clothespins. After a cascade of disappointments, I made the film, laughing the whole time. I also have astigmatism. I realized lately that I MUST look DOWN before I take a step. Or else. I know about the bruised tailbone — incredibly painful. I bruised mine in my 40s rollerblading. 😦

  6. I fall down all the time, all the time. So maddening. I think it’s because I’m in a hurry and my mind is always in other places. I’m working harder to slow down and see what’s around me. I never considered it was my near-sightedness, but then again I wear contacts so I probably can’t use that excuse. Walking sticks are more useful than dogs out there.

    p.s. the dancing clothes pins were mesmerizing.

  7. I find my fear of falling is increasing as I get older. I am not so fearless either anymore. I miss being fearless.

    • ❀

      I've decided to return to being fearless even though I KNOW that some of the problems I contend with now result from not having been fearless. After I talked to my friend and the wrote that post, I understood things more clearly.

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