I feel like I’m twelve years old today….because I fell and busted my knee wide open. It was a pretty spectacular tumble, and it left me with the best case of road rash I’ve had since a three wheeler accident in my teens. It’s one of those weepy wounds that requires gauze and tape because they don’t make a band-aid big enough to cover it. It’s a doozie that stretches from the top of my kneecap to four inches above the ankle bone. If there were contests for this kind of thing, I’d win a blue ribbon.
I was running at lunch time, and trying to be extremely careful because it was 96 degrees outside. I thought the heat would be my biggest problem. I didn’t know my own klutziness would be a much bigger issue. I was running on a somewhat shady street that runs out of sidewalk for about two blocks. I usually zip down a driveway and run on the edge of the street until I hit sidewalk again. I guess I misjudged the distance between the curb and the edge of the pavement because my toes came down about two inches too short, sending me knees first onto the hot asphalt. As I was landing I thought to myself, “Self, there is nothing graceful about this moment. This is as ugly as it feels”. As soon as I hit, I did what everyone does when he falls. I bounced up, looked around to see if anybody was around and acted like nothing had happened. I took off running and had too much pride to stop and look at my knee until I could hide behind a shade tree in the next block. I knew it was bad before I looked because of the hot drip I could feel running down my calf. Despite the stinging and the bleeding, I ran all the way back to the office because I was so ashamed of my dirty, bloody leg. Did I mention I fell on one of the busiest streets in the city? Go big or go home, I always say.
Our first aid kit didn’t have any peroxide, so I had to clean my knee with alcohol. Those kits should come with a bullet to bite down on when you’re using that crap. I’ll spare you the details but there was a lot of cleaning that needed to be done. Nothing like picking asphalt out of your knee right before you eat a bologna sandwich lunch. This tumble left a mark that will take days to heal. I haven’t had a scab this big since I was twelve and tried to ride my bike down a really tall hill. I lost control about a third of the way down, flipped over the handle bars and slid on my knees for what felt like twenty yards. I thought I was going to meet my Maker as I was flying through the air. For weeks, I kept busting those knees open. My birthday picture that year shows me holding a cake and brandishing two scraped up knees. Beautiful. At least I won’t have any photos to document this tumble. However, I will get to wear my lovely gauze bandage to a business breakfast in the morning and jury selection later in the day. (I have jury duty this month.) The price we pay for physical fitness? Twelve pounds of pride.
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