A lithesome frame does not always guarantee suppression of the inner klutz.
I am pretty sure there is nothing that reminds me of my humanity more than a fantastic fall on a slippery pavement. Like most people after the spill I do not care about the searing pain in my knee or the stones embedded in my hand or the blood pouring from my nose. What I care about is "did any one see me fall." I dart my head around like a prairie dog in its sandy hole looking for the hunter aiming to shoot him. I imagine when the critter locks eyes with the assassin the animal has the same clarity I do when I spot a passerby hiding a grin. Uh oh, I have been spotted. A quick wave of the hand to acknowledge "I'm good" and slowly I rise to my feet to limp away.
I have no idea why I am afraid to let people see me fall. It was not a problem when I was a child, although there were many times on the ski slopes when my sisters doubled over with laughter were unable to help me stand up. I find it an affront to my dignity to drop to the ground like a fainting goat. Maybe my false pride began in college tennis when my teacher stated "you have no kinetic ability." As if I had any idea what that term meant. I was a journalism major not physical education! But after looking up the word in the dictionary I indignantly wrote in my class evaluation "she did not help me hit that stupid yellow ball."
I can not really fault those who laugh since I love comedic falls. Once as a youngster my family was skiing and my Father decided to show off. In the process he turned himself backwards down the mountain with his skis in a V. He started to pick up speed as one of my sisters and I watched in horror. At a slow methodical pace our other sister began to traverse a path directly below the out of control parental unit. We shouted a warning to her and she began to scurry as fast as her little skis could manage. My Father was a snowball with arms and legs by the time of the impact. I recall the mountain shook...It still makes me grin.
When my niece and I went to London last year she fell on top of a homeless man at the train station. I was laughing too hard to help her and thought to myself that even an expletive sounded better with a British accent. To her credit though she recovered quickly, apologized and I think the responding grunt meant all was forgiven.
What I realize in reviewing the history of my own family is the following:
A) I have a genetic predisposition to be awkward.
B) If pride goeth before the fall, I might as well join the others laughing at my inept maneuvering.
C) Spectacular falls should be accompanied by remarkable recoveries.
The next time I take a header on the sidewalk for no apparent reason (even one of those that I am running forward for about 10 feet) I will nail the landing holding up one hand with fingers in a V.
Miss you Dad...