Saturday, October 18, 2014

Pong!

When I started this blog years ago it was an effort to explore the notion that if we all must fall, that we can learn to fall well. It it's an inevitable part of life, let's learn to do it better, thus avoiding injury and err, embarrassment.

One thing that I've learned is that in order to stay steady and surefooted, you must be aware. Awareness of your surroundings and others is key to avoiding pitch holes, steps, slippery floors, slippery thieves, ant piles and play ground tether ball poles.

This week my sis got a call from school informing her that my niece had hit her head on a pole during recess.

Details are not forthcoming because when asked about the incident my niece replies somberly, "I don't want to talk about it. It makes me sad to think about it."

"It's weird, the bump is sort of on the back of her head. Kind of on the side." my sister said.

I know exactly what happened. (Not to brag, but I am pretty good at crashing, falling and slamming into stuff.)

Like I said, the details from eye witness reports are a little sketchy. I picture it happening a little like this:

My very competitive sister's 7 year old offspring was running fiercely away from fellow classmates. She was probably looking over her shoulder while thinking to herself, "You can't catch me suckas!" PONG!!!

The argument was made by my niece that she should go home with Mom but it didn't warrant missing that night's Girl Scout meeting. (If you're too hurt to stay in school, you're too hurt to run around with friends)

Although the goose egg knot on her head was significant, what was bruised worse was perhaps her ego.

Remembering the "pongs" in our lives can really make us feel, well, sad. My niece is right about that. At any age when a "pong" happens for most of us our first reaction is "what the hell?!" Then when we shake off the ringing we lament about how great things were going.

When "I've got this" turns into "Holy heck, I'm goin' down!" it can really make you question your every move.

So watch your step and maybe keep these tips in mind:
  • Don't spend too much time looking over your shoulder watching what everyone else is doing. Keep your own pace and stay the course. 
  • Wear appropriate foot wear. Yes, those 5 inch wedges look awesome in the 3 way mirror at home, but walking across a football field, not so much. 
  • Keep your listening ears on. OK, this is a school thing but it applies to big people too. "Be careful of that last step." How many times have you heard that but then didn't let it play out in your head until you were slipping off of that last step?
  • Step lightly, carefully. That patch of twigs and leaves just might be the cover hatch to a bunny hole. Really! The lighter our gate the less likely we are to put more weight on unsteady ground. Balance and shift your weight back and forth. This method works awesome in life as well. 
  • Keep your hands free. The heavier the load, the quicker you're gonna hit the ground. Life's a journey, pack light. 
  • Open your eyes. Really see what's around you. Our eyes are so conditioned to gazing into tiny lit electronic screens now. Retrain your eyes to scan past a foot in front of your nose. 
Despite our efforts to avoid life's face plants, it's just going to happen from time to time. In that event, let me share the wise advice given to my niece by her classmate while putting a bag of ice on her head. You'll be fine.