I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up!

Posted: May 2, 2011 in Life, Weight Loss
Tags: , ,

Those of you who know me know a lot of things about me–maybe too many things as far as I’m concerned. Some of you may know that I don’t like condiments, or that I love chicken strips. Others may know that I’m a total nerd and actually like reading for fun. A good chunk of you know that I was a pretty accomplished flute player (insert band camp joke here).

There’s one thing though that most of you know that can make me cry and laugh all at the same time, although it typically just makes you guys laugh. I’m talking about the uncanny knack I have for falling down. It’s a mystery to all of us, especially when you consider I was an athlete and have top notch hand-eye coordination–apparently it’s my foot-eye coordination that’s lacking?

Anyhow, in honor of my clumsiness, I’m going to list my top five falls. SPOILER ALERT! There will be some cute little moral at the end–so pay attention!


5. Where the Sidewalk Ends…Part 1
I’ve fallen off more sidewalks than I can count. I don’t what my beef is with sidewalks, or better yet why sidewalks have a beef with me, but for some reason we just seem to clash. While I was at Wartburg, I was a manager for the men’s basketball team. One night, the guys had late practice. I was walking back to my dorm from practice and cut across the lawn of the dorm next door. I crossed over the sidewalk to the door of my own dorm, and just totally biffed it. When that one happened, I knew something was wrong. This fall resulted in me going to the emergency room, and being fitted for one of those big black boots. There’s a picture of me floating around somewhere, where I’m on the couch, back to the outside world, with my newly booted leg up on the back of the couch. Basically it looks like I’m humping the couch, but I SWEAR I’m not.

4. Where the Sidewalk Ends…Part 2
The most memorable sidewalk fall took place my junior of high school. All the junior and senior girls had gone to Iowa State for a Women in Science and Engineering Day. Towards the end of the day our group was taken on a campus tour. I was just simply walking when my right foot fell off the edge of the sidewalk, rolled outward, and down I went. Cue laughter. Even I was laughing–until I tried to get up. Ow. I was helped back to the Memorial Union where the whole clumsy story was recounted to a Subway employee so we could get a bag of ice. No broken bones though–just a sprain and a story.

3. Slippery When Wet
Picture this. I’m in 3rd grade in a snazzy new outfit which consisted of teal pants and a purple shirt. Do you see me? The whole elementary is headed to C.Y. Stephens in Ames for a symphony, and I look classy. We’re dismissed by grade to go to the bathroom and I’m the first one out of the room. I’m NEVER the first one out…so now I’m all dressed up AND I’m a champion. I fly down the first set of stairs, then the second set, run across the landing, and down the third set. I’m halfway down the fourth and final set, and I slip. I land on my butt and kind of slide down the last couple stairs. The 4th grade class saw it happen and most of them immediately start laughing. Then I notice the smell. Someone had puked on the stairs, and me in all my glory, had managed to slip and fall in it. Long story short, I go into the bathroom, the school nurse laughs at me, and I end up having to wear sweatpants from the box of clothes in the nurse’s office for the kids who would piss themselves at school.

2. Swimming with the Fishes
Two years after the Puke Debacle of ’89, I’ve recovered nicely and I’m headed to the Blank Park Zoo with my Cousin Sara. I don’t know what I wore for clothes that day, but I can tell you I had on pink and white Velcro shoes. We get to the petting zoo part, which I’m all about. I head straight to the goldfish pond, dig out some quarters, and get some fish food. Now if you’ve ever been to this pond, you know these fish are HUGE, and honestly now that I’m 28, I think these fish are gross. I’m feeding fish, minding my own business, and for whatever reason (I think I was trying to throw the food far enough to reach the reject fish), I leaned over too far…and in I went. Now, I’m 10 at the time, average height…and this water only went up to my knees, and the fish kind of scattered when I made my entrance. The one lone swan that was in there though was not happy to see me. Luckily, I pulled myself out and ran over to where my aunt and uncle were, dripping wet…but alive. Best part of this story happens when my Cousin Sara comes running over a few minutes later and starts telling us a story about how someone had just fallen in the goldfish pond. Amazingly, no one heard my shoes squishing.

1. Falling…or Failing?
This last fall is a metaphorical one–but the worst one to date. In November of 2009, I went to the doctor for a routine checkup and I walked out of there that day wanting to both bawl AND berate myself–which I did. You see…I’d seen the number on the scale. I’d known I was gaining weight, I knew I’d been buying bigger clothes, but when you see that number and it’s the biggest you’ve ever been–nothing will make you fall faster or harder.

So naturally I did something about it–I sat around and felt sorry for myself. It wasn’t until January 31, 2010–the very last day you could join the Y and have the joiner fee waived–that I made any sort of move towards my wellness. It took two more weeks before I went to see a wellness coach. But once I did that–once I FINALLY picked myself up and discovered that even though I’d fallen, there were no broken bones–I worked my ass off.

Sure there were weeks that sucked. There were times I wished over and over I hadn’t let myself go–but then I’d pick myself back up again, reminding me that I was doing something about it NOW, and that was all that mattered.

It paid off. In 2010, I lost 70 pounds. 7-0. SEVENTY. I can tell I’ve gained a little back–which means I need to start this process all over again. I’ve done it once–I can do it again, and honestly I think I’m blogging about this today to give myself a little motivation.

      

So this is where the cheesy moral comes in–if this were a half hour family show we would have just cued the music. I don’t know what all of you guys are going through right this very moment–maybe you’ve recently experienced the loss of a loved one, maybe you’ve recently had a relationship end, or maybe you’re even trying to lose weight. Regardless, know that life knocks you down, and sometimes it may take you longer than others to get back up–but that’s okay. The important thing is that you DO get up, not how quickly you do it.

Sometimes you’ll need help–not every place we fall into is a goldfish pond with knee deep water we can hoist ourselves out of. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Some of us, maybe all of us to a point, see asking for help as a sign of weakness–a symbol of failure. But to quote a line from a movie I watched just last night, “Just because you accept help from someone doesn’t mean you’ve failed, it means you’re not in it alone.”

So we fall down. Sometimes imaginary carpet bumps will do it, sometimes it’s cracks in sidewalks, and sometimes it’s literally a puddle of vomit–but sometimes…it’s just life. And if you stay down–you’re going to miss out on a whole lot of stuff…like watching people fall into goldfish ponds.

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Comments
  1. KodachromeGirl says:

    I also reached a point last year where the number I saw on the scale terrified, confused and angered me. So I did something about it and over 6 months lost 30 pounds. But in the last two months I’ve been lazy, resting on my laurels, reminding myself that losing 30 lbs was awesome and that I was doing so great. But then I weighed myself again and that 30 had shrunk to 20. Even though that was a really hard fall for me, reading this reminded me that picking myself up is the important part. I’m re-committing myself to this ‘life change’ and re-starting my eating and exercise routines. Thank you so much for reminding me that the important part isn’t the fall but the getting back up that matters.

  2. wmarsau says:

    I really enjoyed this post. I love how you used the analogy of falling down literally with falling down in life. I know I definately need to be better about accepting people’s help when they offer it to me. Great job girl!

  3. […] within two years. If you know me, or have been reading my blog for awhile, you know that in 2010 I lost 70 pounds. I’m happy to say that almost two years later, I haven’t gained all of it back, but it’s […]

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