Falling down on the run

Taking a spill while running can be painful and embarrassing. Even worse is doing it within view of lots of people.

I once misjudged a curb as I hopped onto a sidewalk on a very busy street. I performed a spread-eagle landing in front of a lot of traffic.

Another time I was part of a rare, interactive double fall. When I was in my mid-20’s, a former girlfriend and I were running through a residential area when she tripped and fell right in front of me. I tripped over her and rolled across the sidewalk. If someone had captured the moment on video, I’m sure they’d be making money with all the views on YouTube.

Considering how many years I’ve been running, taking a fall is pretty rare. I run year-round and have plenty of experience with snow and icy roads, yet most of my falls have been on dry, level ground.

After falling, my first instinct is to get right up and resume running to minimize the embarrassment. However, a few years ago I inexplicably tripped on smooth, newly poured concrete. My knee hurt so bad that I just sat there rubbing it, not giving a care to passing cars or watchful residents. After a few minutes it felt better, and I was able to continue running.

Lucky for me, my spills have caused nothing but temporary pain and a scraped-up limb. I know others who’ve broken bones requiring surgery and a long break from running.

If you’ve been a runner for a long time and never taken a dive, let me know. I’d like to present you an award for exceptional sure-footedness.

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