Falling in France

You’ve all heard about my combo holiday/work trip in Spain and France. I told you about walking lots in Spain. See Sam is all sore feet and smiles in Spain .

That was the good bit. I also wrote about a hard bit, stairs. See Stairs are not Sam’s friend.

And I wrote about about peoples’ reaction to my knee brace. See Assumptions about disability and reflections on visibility. Short version, we’re confused when we view the tools people use to get around as signs of the disability rather than as the thing that makes movement possible.

But there’s a fourth piece of the story I didn’t tell you. I wasn’t sure how. I’m still embarrassed about it. I’m also meta-embarrassed. I’m embarrassed by my own reaction.

What happened?

I fell.

I fell getting off a bus in Perpignan. French teenagers helped pick me up off the ground. They all saw my knee brace and figured that’s why I fell. And I guess the stiff wobbly knee probably is part of the story. I’m upset about it.

What happened? Well, it was a big step down from the rear door of the bus to the curb. There wasn’t a rail. (I’ve come to like and need rails for going downstairs.) I gently stepped down but it turned out there was an additional dip–like when you think you are the bottom step on a flight of stairs but you’re not. I went tumbling.

On the bright side, my catlike Aikido reflexes served me very well. I didn’t put out arms to break my fall and thus break wrists. I landed on my knee (ouch) and then my shoulder. I scuffed my shoes and pants and my phone went flying. No bones broken, no phone broken. Lovely helpful local teenagers helped me up.

But it has made me rethink Aikido. I’ve been thinking of my stiff, sore knee as a reason to stay away. Yet if the stiff joint means I’m more likely to fall maybe it’s extra important that I fall well. Maybe the knee is a reason to go? I’m still mulling this one over.

Image description: Cat flat on floor. Texts says, “I didn’t fall. The floor just needed a hug.”

4 thoughts on “Falling in France

  1. Ouch! Sorry to hear about your falling and all the levels of embarrassment; I get it. Congratulations on using your skills to make the fall not an injury-producing event. Your Aikido posts have made me curious about it for exactly the reasons you mentioned. This is partly why I’m taking some parkour classes– it’s all about the falling. the way we handle the unexpected.

    1. Right? We spend a lot of effort not falling but sometimes falls happen and falling well makes a difference. Also, all the stiffening up that goes on when we try really hard not to fall makes it worse. Life is about blending, not crunching.

  2. I am glad you weren’t hurt. There should always be a railing!
    How nice people helped. That’s a nice reminder people are good.
    It sounds like akido time again. Do it within your limits. I practiced yoga with a broken foot. I accommodated a lot and learned a lot about myself at the same time.

  3. Oh no! Good to hear you didn’t hurt yourself. It’s normal to be embarrassed, I think, and even to be meta-embarrassed. So please don’t be too meta-meta embarrassed!

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