Pick Yourself Up After A Fall: Embarrassing Situations

Pick Yourself Up After A Fall
Photo by: miguelb

I went to the gym. Now, before we go on, I want you put away every ounce of thought that I am an uber-fit person. I certainly am not…but I went to the gym.

I went at a late hour when there is less competition for the machines. It is also when people are less likely to crowd in on both sides of my treadmill, hacking away with their latest contagion carrying coughs, forcing me to inhale, with each labored step, their possible contaminant. This is me…going to the gym.

So I entered the gym, dressed in my comfy-stretchy-workout-pants, my fitted t-shirt and my white sport shoes. I checked in, waved to the happy gym-worker behind the front desk and I headed for the locker room. After placing my bag in the locker I slid my purple lock into the slot and clicked it shut. I was ready for the gym.

When I entered the downstairs workout room, I spotted my place of residence for the workout hour. Four machines away from the nearest treadmill walker and right on the aisle (no treadmill neighbor there,) I walked onto the conveyor belt platform, placed my water on the holder and pressed the start button.

The machine squeaked it’s reluctance to start like a cat awakened from a sweet dream. As the belt started moving, my feet clumsily moved forward, trying to match the rhythm of the moving walkway. I nonchalantly pressed the speed arrow up and the belt increased it’s pace. I picked up my pace as well.

After a warm-up minute, I slowly increased speed and then held it at a comfortable, but slightly challenging mode. I looked forward into the reflective window and saw the images of all the club-goers who were working out behind me and to the sides. There were several people scattered about.

All of a sudden, I saw him…my nephew. I hadn’t seen him for quite a while. I knew he was a member of the club, but I did not expect to see him there, behind me, bending down to sip from the water fountain at that late hour.

Of course, the thought of seeing my own relative in a place where very few of my relatives have ever stepped in to was kind of exciting to me. I decided to pause my workout to go over and say, “Hi.” After all…that’s what loving, cool aunts in their stretchy black pants do to their teenage nephews in the gym.

I pressed the “pause ” button on the treadmill and my feet stopped.

Big mistake.

Apparently, the machine did not register that I had pressed the pause button. (Who knew the button was so finicky?) The treadmill belt continued to roll.

There I was, stretchy pants, fitted t-shirt and all, flying off the machine with flailing arms, landing in the aisle with a big crash. For what seemed like a very long three seconds, I lay there sprawled on the black-cushioned floor, rocking on my back like a turtle turned over. I flagrantly gave all attentive heads a great view of the bottom traction of my shoes.

I looked up to see my cool nephew, frozen in shock with his mouth still full of water. He was obviously trying not to spray it all out in utter horror. There lay his poor aunt, helplessly sprawled out on the floor. Yes…this was his relative…related through blood…causing the biggest ruckus that the gym had seen in years.

All thoughts of helplessness faded from my mind as I thought like a ninja and I quickly sprung to my feet. My nephew looked like he didn’t know what to do. I waved to him, giving him a sign that I was ok and that he didn’t need to bother coming to help me up…because I was already up.

He waved as I eagerly jumped back on the machine like nothing was wrong and I casually resumed my workout. The rest of the club members resumed. With a smirk on my face, I silently assessed the damage to my body:

No blood. Good. Head and neck alright. Good. Legs? Ooooowwweeeee! A few sweet spots that would make for some colorful bruising in the next few days. Oh well…I guess I’m alright. (:

Needless to say, it was an interesting workout hour.

Here are a few lessons I learned from this:

1. Live in the moment. Had I spent an extra moment to be sure that the treadmill really stopped, the whole scenario could have been prevented. My feet would not have ceased walking and my body would not have flown off the machine.

Such is life. Sometimes we think so much of the future that we don’t focus on doing a great job in the now. This could result in inferior or unfinished work. It could also result in painful mistakes. In reality, the future is dependent upon what we do in the now. Are you doing a great job in the now to set yourself up for a great future?

Yes…live in the moment.

2. Beware of distractions. Distractions abound. Sometimes they’re good. (Such as when my friend called me up out of the blue to chat for a few moments.) Sometimes they are not.

It’s not to say that we can’t take a little break from our daily activities. In fact, we should. However, when we accomplish nothing at all because we turned fully to the distraction, then the distraction is not good.

The question is, what are we going to do about it?

I sometimes try to anticipate distractions and I decide how to deal with them ahead of time. For instance, as I am writing this article, the phone is ringing. (Excuse me while I answer the phone…………………………………………..ok…I’m back!)

I decided weeks ago that, if I am called during my writing time, then I would answer the phone and ask the individual if I could give her a call back later when I am done. If I had not anticipated this, then I could have easily gotten caught up in a very long conversation.

How about you? What distractions get in the way of your progression? How do you anticipate dealing with them? Decide ahead and then go do it. (:

3. When you fall, get back up. After figuring out that I wasn’t too badly hurt (oh…the bruises from the fall eventually went away,) I could have thrown in the towel and walked back to the locker room in disgust. If that happened, then I wouldn’t have felt that euphoric feeling of accomplishment that an hour’s worth of workout perspiration would have given.

Sometimes, we need to have the fortitude to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and get back on track to getting it done. Such is life. Have you made mistakes? Get back up. You can do it. I know you can. (:

4. Being embarrassed is a choice. I admire people who don’t get embarrassed. Fact of the matter is…while my fall from treadmill grace was a big deal to me, it was probably a small little afterthought to most people who witnessed it. When the woman on the machine down the row from me went home, she might have mentioned seeing someone fall off the treadmill to her hubby, but it probably would not have gone much further.

I admit that I was embarrassed at first. (Rocking on my back with flailing arms and legs was certainly not very dignified.) However, after resuming my walking, I began to laugh, just thinking about it.

There is something very freeing with not worrying about other people laughing at you. As the old saying goes…if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em! So I did.

5. Go to the gym when hardly anyone is there. Alright, alright, this one is a personal preference. I’m just sayin’. Could you imagine me flying into an aisle full of people? (No, don’t even try to imagine it. It’s not a pretty picture.) I would have felt really bad if my tractioned shoes caused damage to a passerby.

(Is it obvious that I chose this tip, just so I could have a #5 on the list?)

What about you? Have you ever fallen? Ever had a moment when you might have wanted to just melt into oblivion with eternal embarrassment?

Remember…we all have. No matter what it is, you have the freedom to choose how you will deal with it.

Also remember, my Sweet Friend…you…..are……resilient!

 Have a superlicious day!


The Happy Balance Girl

How do you pick yourself up after a fall?

Copyright 2011 by Stacey Shimabukuro-Lui. All rights reserved.

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