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This Saturday, I was beginning to wonder if my 2011 self-reinvention campaign was such a good idea. Last February, when I first decided to get in shape, it was almost a joke. Could a life-long exercise avoider and klutz really run and do pilates without hurting herself? Amazingly, the answer was yes. For a while at least…

Then what I think of as the old Jessica reappeared on the scene. The way I saw it, anyone could fall on a dark rainy run as I did in January. And anyone could have missed the first day of spring training because of a sick kid. And most everyone has missed a season or part thereof due to an injury.

But who in the world beside me would ever suffer a vacuuming injury? About a week ago I was replacing the exhaust filter, or at least trying to, and Could. Not. Get. The. Cover. Latch. Open. So I pulled and pulled and pulled and even put my feet on the unit to provide additional leverage. And thus, with all of my body weight engaged in the task, I finally released the compartment cover. At which point in time it flew out of my grasp, hit me directly in the face, and split open my lower lip. Really! I had to ice my lip and apply pressure for upwards of 20 minutes before I stanched the flow of blood.

And it doesn’t end there. Friday I took Simon up to our attic, which I am in the process of rehabilitating from an in-home storage facility cum garbage can to usable play space. It’s still a little rough up there, but the huge amount of baby equipment and seven large boxes of toys and clothes I removed at least allowed me to visualize the space’s potential. If I have the drywall fixed where some leaky sky-lights caused damage, put on a cheery coat of paint, and buy a portable air conditioning unit, this will give Simon more space to play. It won’t be Pottery Barn perfect, but it will do nicely.

Flush with excitement from my cleaning, I hauled Simon upstairs to see how much more room he already has for his train set. After setting up a play tent and browsing online for bean bag chairs, it was time to head downstairs. Laptop in hand, I made my way first. Then Simon called for me to check out the funny way he was planning to slide down the stairs. It was a potentially dangerous maneuver, and as I spun around to caution him, I lost my footing and fell down about five steps myself.

There was at least one bounce, possibly two, before I landed hard on my right hip, right shoulder, and neck. My tush is sore, my back and shoulders ache, and I have an extremely limited range of motion in my neck. I done banged myself up but good.

As a result, I spent much of yesterday thinking that perhaps I had pushed my luck a bit with this whole running thing. Maybe I really am too klutzy and I should stop before I get hit by a car or cripple myself for life. Or was that just that pain and embarrassment getting to me?

So I did the math:

Total running-related injuries to date include:

  • one skinned knee (healed in one week)
  • two strained calf muscles (healing in progress).

Total couch-potato/cleaning/computer injuries to date include:

  • one strained hand tendon (from knitting and computer work, since healed)
  • one busted-up lip
  • one totally messed-up neck (mostly remediated)
  • terrible vision (which took one giant improvement leap when I quit grad school, another when I went part-time, and yet a third when I left work altogether, putting my prescription back to long-forgotten undergraduate and/or high school levels)
  • various minor cooking burns
  • two cooking knife accidents bad enough to require stitches.

Looks like I had my thinking backwards. I mean, yeah, 2012 is not off to a great start when it comes to bodily harm, but I’ve done more damage to myself while in my house or engaged in “safe” work pursuits than I ever did while out running. My house looks a ton better since I hurt my calves, but if I don’t get out running again soon, I may be too banged up get started again!

3 Responses to “The Dangers of Self Reinvention”

  1. Amanda says:

    Household accidents are like the #1 cause of injury. Keep running, quit vacuuming!

  2. Jen Bortel says:

    I agree about quitting vaccuming! I was attacked by my vacuum cleaner as well. It was months ago and I still have a scar and vivid humiliating memory. Helpful hint: when vacuuming the stairs with an extension hose, start at the bottom and work your way up. Do not start at the top and work your way down.

  3. blg says:

    Pro Tip: vacuuming stairs sucks.

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