I nearly opened this article with a photo of my bruised and bloodied knees. But that would gross you out, so I won’t. Just know I’ve been tripping over my own feet fairly frequently over the last couple of weeks. My poor knees have borne the brunt of it.
It reminded me of an article I wrote back in 2009 (yes – this has been a LONG journey. 3D LILA wasn’t my first foray into documenting my journey.) called “Bombs, snapped wrists, and how I’m a professional faller…”
The article, sadly, is still true today and I thought worth re-publishing. Over seven years later, I am still a professional faller.
Original Published October 31, 2009
I wrote the following post this morning then went out for my Saturday long run. About ½ way through, I tripped on an invisible root or something. I went down, right in front people walking. I popped right back up saying “Oh! I’m ok!” not even looking them in the eye. About a mile later at my turn around point, I stopped and took a picture of my hand. Read on, and it will all make sense.
Earlier that day:
I think I may need a twelve step program, and it’s not for what you might think. Well ok, who am I kidding? I willingly confess that I have food addiction issues. My addiction is part of why I still struggle every day to make the right choices, stay on a plan, or whatever the goal is for the day. What I’m addressing today is more of an obsession. You see, even when I’m not thinking about diet, weight loss, and fitness, I’m thinking about diet, weight loss, and fitness.
Case in point: I was listening to NPR on my way to work the other day. The story of the morning was about I.E.D.s (Improvised Explosive Device) and how the most simple of these weapons is so destructive in warfare. I was fascinated as to how warfare has become more and more technologically sophisticated over the years. The more simple an IED was, the harder it was to find, and, therefore, the more deadly and dangerous it was. The journalist, Bruce Auster, explained how the detonator for the bomb could be as simple as two pieces of metal separated by a small (think quarter inch) piece of wood buried just out of sight. All it would take was the pressure of a tire wheel, and the connection would be made. No way to anticipate this. The solution? “You just have to see them.” It was frightening and heavy stuff!
I’m sure you’re thinking, “What on earth does this have to do with your blog, your addiction, what the…???” Bare with me. The interview continued with accounts from the brave folks that go out and diffuse the bombs. Bruce then went so far as to go to the Aberdeen Proving Ground. At this test site, scientists and army personnel recreate what happens when bombs go off and the damage they do. The goal is to outsmart the bombs.
Part of the outsmarting process is also protection. The protection was clothing. Bruce was invited to try on one of the protection suits. The person helping him said, “Now we’re going to have to do this quick. ‘Cause you start to get tired as soon as you put this on…85lbs.” My mind immediately zoomed in on that nugget of information. I quickly did the math, 85lbs plus my current weight didn’t even get me close to my highest weight. My weight loss-o-meter was ON. They went on to explain that if Bruce should feel himself falling, he should just let himself fall and not put out his wrist to stop himself. Putting out a hand to break the fall would “snap his wrist.” I went from a moment of “85lbs? That’s nothing!” to a horrified moment of “Your extra weight could break a bone!”
What was even more chilling to me was the realization that when I was heavy, I fell more. My body would suddenly give out from underneath me, and I would be on the ground. It used to be a great source of amusement for my friends and family as they rolled their eyes, “There goes Joanna again.” At the time, I didn’t think much about it. My sister once said, after one of my more spectacular falls, “You should add that to your resume…professional faller.” I thought it was funny too. I use humor to cover up my embarrassment of being sprawled in the dirt. Not once did I believe that I could snap a wrist or hurt myself. And here these people – experts – talking about 85lbs breaking bones in your body.
I’m now adding it to my resume: Professional Faller.
By the time the segment ended, I was still thinking about the other comment “you start to get tired as soon as you put this on.” Yes, I had removed much more than 85lbs of weight from my frame, but had I got to the place where I was carrying around just as much as I should, no more, no less? I think about how tired I used to get and how much slower I was. It gets one to thinking how much faster and more energetic one could be if you had even LESS weight to carry around.
So yes, I went from IEDs to plotting my next move on the weight loss journey. I’m trying to decide if I’m belittling the importance of the segment. However, if the goal of NPR is for me to remember this show, it worked. This whole thought process happened Tuesday morning; the segment was a little less than 8 minutes. It’s now Saturday morning, and I’m still thinking about it. Do I have a problem? I’m not sure.
If you want to listen to the program, you can find it here: Search Is On To Protect Troops From
Later that day:
What I didn’t mention in my blog was that I haven’t fallen in a while. Then today, I fall. Destiny? Maybe? What I think was most interesting about my fall today was how I fell. Did you see the picture of my hand? It’s a little red in a couple of spots but not a mark on it. Now take a look at my leg.
Shredded! What does this tell me? I don’t stick my hand out when I fall. I fall with my whole body and just roll to the ground swinging my legs in the air. I told you it was quite a sight. So did I subconsciously learn how to fall without sticking my arm out? And by not reaching out to break my fall with my hand saved my wrists?
Either way, I’m now adding it to my resume: Professional Faller.