Being taught to fall.

19 Sep

In my early years of physical therapy, before all of my intense surgeries, I was taught how to fall. Though that may seem strange, it makes perfect sense when you realize that I was a kid who had a physical disability, which included having issues with balance on a daily basis. Because my physical therapist and my parents knew that I would be falling a lot, I had to learn how to fall so that I wouldn’t break or sprain my wrists every time my face met the concrete. I was taught to splay my hands out relatively wide when I felt like I was about to fall. However, the number one rule was to make sure my hands were out in front of me and that my palms were flat so that I wouldn’t injure any of my fingers. It seems like a relatively easy concept (one that would seem like common sense to an able-bodied person). However, things got a bit more difficult when I first began walking with four-prong canes. Since by that time I already knew I had to catch myself if I fell, I began to understand that I’d have to let go of the handles on my canes really quickly if I was going to catch myself in time. It wasn’t necessarily easy (since the canes ended up getting in my way), but I still did it.

Throughout middle school, my friends often told me I fell in slow motion. However, after seeing me fall countless times, my mom has told me that this isn’t the case. Although, it did cause me to wonder why my friends even thought to think that I was falling in slow motion if I clearly wasn’t. One of my first explanations is maybe since I “learned” to fall, my falls looked more controlled and slower, as opposed to just tripping randomly and landing flat on my face. Who knows though. As well as being told that I fall in slow motion, many of my falls go unnoticed. I remember one specific time when I was at the mall with my mom. My mom and I were shopping, and I don’t know if I was walking too fast or something, but either way, one minute I was walking and the next I was on the ground. However, when I looked up, my mom was walking away from me. I had to call to her, and only once she turned around did she realize that I had fallen down. Though it may seem sad that my own mother didn’t realize that her daughter had fallen down, I should point out that my falls were never really a big deal. I never made them a big deal unless I actually did hurt myself. They became such a regular part of my life that I didn’t make a scene when they happened. I just got back up and kept going.

However, on a day like today, falling isn’t such an easy thing to brush off. I fell a total of eight times today, and I have reached a point where I don’t fall too much anymore. Therefore, eight falls in one day sucks either way you look at it. Though it sucked that I was falling so much, when I realized that today was the first day that it actually got cold, the falls made more sense. When the weather starts getting cooler, my leg muscles get tighter, and tighter leg muscles lead to more falling. Add stress on top of that from recent exams this week and you’ve got an even higher probability of falling more. Unfortunately, even though I did learn how to fall in my early days of physical therapy, the falls can’t be prevented, no matter how much I wish they could. That’s life though, I guess.

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18 Responses to “Being taught to fall.”

  1. stephenedwards425 September 19, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

    Amelia I see a great post about learning to fall in life. I know we all want to concentrate only on the positive, wonderful, bright, beautiful things in life, but you know what, we all fall. God knows I’ve done my fair share (and quite possibly I have helped myself to part of someone else’s share too) of falling. Although, like you admitted, “it sucks” it is still part of life. Maybe falling actually teaches us something about standing. Might it not be that to truly stand we must learn to fall and recover.

    Thanks for being an encourager…even if you fall sometimes. You are the best! Thanks for the great (and honest) post.

    Be encouragd!

    • ameliaclaire92 September 19, 2012 at 8:35 pm #

      Thanks Stephen. That means so much to me.

      • stephenedwards425 September 19, 2012 at 8:46 pm #

        Ahhh, it was nothing…but you are a wonderful inspiration not only to those dealing with CP, but to everyone…blessings to you and best wishes with all your exams.

        Be encouraged!

  2. stephenedwards425 September 19, 2012 at 8:35 pm #

    Reblogged this on LifeRevelation and commented:
    I am reblogging this post from Amelia because contained in her recollection of a day which she admits “it sucks” is a tremendous lesson for all of us.

    We fall maybe not quite like Amelia, but we fall. We come up short. We stumble and flail. Sometimes we catch ourselves, other times not so much. It hurts. It isn’t fun. We feel the ache for days, weeks, maybe months and years. But just like Amelia we get up. We try harder. We focus. It isn’t beautiful. It doesn’t lend itself to a cute bumper sticker, but it’s life.

    Be encouraged!

  3. photosfromtheloonybin September 19, 2012 at 8:36 pm #

    It sounds to me like you need a nice relaxing weekend without any stress!! Hope you’re ok and that you have a better day tomorrow!

    • ameliaclaire92 September 19, 2012 at 8:45 pm #

      A weekend without stress sounds perfect. Too bad they don’t come around too often these days.

  4. P. C. Zick September 20, 2012 at 7:54 am #

    Thank you for this post. I agree there’s potential here for an essay using this as a metaphor for life. It sucks to fall, but it’s the way we rise that counts and you rise again and again with grace.

  5. Anita S September 20, 2012 at 9:49 am #

    Like Stephen, my first thought was about ‘learning to fall’ as a metaphor for life. It’s inevitable that we will fall. The question is, how do we fall, and what do we do afterwards? Attitude is so important. It is obvious you have learned to take falls as simply a part of life so that, as you mentioned, you don’t make a big deal about them. I hope that I can develop that attitude as well, both mentally and physically.

  6. Dad September 20, 2012 at 9:54 am #

    You rise with grace and grace my life.

  7. jacksdavie September 20, 2012 at 8:33 pm #

    Thank you for putting this into words! I too, have been taught how to fall, and how to get back up, and it has been a lifeline. However my brain somehow re-directed pathways so I tend to roll or flip, and therefore avoid hitting my head so much, or falling into objects. Hard to explain how my brain does it, as it happens to hast. For me, falling is as natural as breathing. I have to agree, “eight falls in a day sucks” Can just imagine how much effort it took to get up again each time!

    • ameliaclaire92 September 20, 2012 at 8:38 pm #

      Thank you. It really is great to connect with someone who understands.

      • jacksdavie September 20, 2012 at 8:46 pm #

        likewise! p.s, Anytime you need to vent at someone who ‘gets’ it, feel free! 🙂

      • ameliaclaire92 September 20, 2012 at 8:51 pm #

        Thank you. I really appreciate it.

  8. yogikarenk September 22, 2012 at 8:52 am #

    Interesting you wrote this on 19th and I wrote “embracing suffering” the same day…it was a sucky day for me too…I found out it was that kind of day for a couple more of my friends, so I looked up the day on an astrology blog and found that in general the 19th was a dark day for everyone…sooo perhaps and I wish this for you … this was the last 8-fall day for you ! Thanks for your blog – you are beautiful in heart and soul!

    • ameliaclaire92 September 22, 2012 at 8:58 am #

      Sorry to hear that it was a rough day for you as well. That’s interesting about the fact that the 19th seemed like a dark day for everyone. I, too, hope that it’s the last 8-fall day for me. However, you never can tell with how my body works sometimes. Thanks for reading. I always love your comments, and I appreciate that I have the opportunity to get a glimpse into your world as well. 🙂

  9. belasbrightideas September 25, 2012 at 12:00 am #

    Amelia, I’m sorry you’re having difficulties. And glad you have a light heart about it, which no doubt helps.

    I should have gotten that lesson – how to fall and not injure myself! Jumping off a horse at a dead run, falling off a cliff in Greece (aided by retsina, one of the national drinks, back in the days before I had brains), falling off my bike onto the asphalt. Always injured the same left shoulder. Apparently my body didn’t get the splayed finger memo! 😉

    Take care.

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