A Different Kind of Olympics

Two weeks ago, I tried a reverse back tuck off the flying trapeze. The twisting harness belt turned at an odd angle in the air (no doubt, my fault) and one of its side rings drove into the front of my right thigh as I landed. Never one to be put off, I tried the trick again. Same result, other leg. Two 6×4 bruises raised on each thigh, purple and yellow on the edges and blackish-gray in the middle. I decided the tuck would wait and moved on to a layout. Result? I over-rotated and landed off the mat in the net and directly on my neck. That was the same night that R. was the lead car in a four-car pile-up. I left the next morning to fly to upstate New York because there’s nothing a stiff neck and a bruised body likes more than eight hours of travel. Little did I know that the streak was just beginning.

Last Sunday morning, at about 2 AM, I fell down the last two steps of the front stairs at my father’s house in Buffalo as I was going to collect a book from the dining room. That step has gotten me before, disappearing into the dark wood of the floor ahead. Last time, I was carrying luggage. It broke my fall. This time, my full weight landed on the bent-back toes of my left foot as I pitched forward into the dark. I landed on my knees on the Oriental rug and issued an expletive that did not belong in a house with children. I thought my last three toes were broken. Verdict? Only deeply bruised.

The next night, back home at trapeze, I returned to the reverse back tuck with a different belt. No twisting = no side rings in the thigh. I was right. Instead though, I didn’t make it all the way around the tuck, having forgotten to pull my legs in, and landed with my body on the mat and my face in the net. Rope burn across my forehead, missing skin on my nose and lip and shoulder. Impressive.

On Tuesday, I moved boxes all evening. No incident, just sore.

On Wednesday, back at trapeze, this time static, not flying. I abraded the tops of my feet on the ropes. I bruised my bottom taking a pose called the Gazelle, which I look nothing like. For good measure, I laid down some new bruises on my lower thighs – just below the existing ones – doing crunches while hanging upside down. (My toe still hurts by the way.)

Thursday, I had to move to a new storage space because the building next door to my unit is going to be demolished. I have taken the opportunity to sort through everything I own. Since I am doing this in the dark of a storage building and most of this stuff is from a period of my life that is long over, it is not a pleasant task. To make sure I take the point, I hurt myself again. This time, I am using pliers to free a small dowel from the side of a bookshelf. I yank, the pliers lose their grip and my fist, with pliers, fly into my chin. My teeth jar but I assume I’m fine until I see that the hand which instinctively pressed the injured area is smeared with blood. Split chin. Excellent.

On Friday, at training, while stretching my shoulders by hanging from a bar against a wall – with my hands over the bar, not under – my shoulders give in to the pressure and flip around to the front. It’s hard to explain. Try this. Reach up and behind you with your palm down. Now turn your palm upwards and move your arm down. Feel that shift in your shoulder joint? Now imagine that sensation without turning your palm upwards first, without moving your arm down and with your full body weight on those arms. Nice.

Yesterday was Saturday. I managed not to get hurt by spending the better part of the afternoon sitting perfectly still in a movie. So far so good…

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Categories: News, Nuisance, Miscellany


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