A few weeks ago, I was going down into a basement to take some pictures. I had a tripod and camera in my left hand and held the handrail with my right hand. I was taking each step one at a time. I got to the 3rd step from the bottom, and suddenly, I was falling! My left foot went out in front of me, and my right leg went under me. I was sitting on my heel. I’m not Simone Biles.
Later, I found out that I had torn the tendon that connects my quadriceps muscles from my thigh to the lower part of my knee. This is a bad thing. Surgery is required, of course, and lots of rehab and healing. I have finally reached the pinnacle of a card- carrying klutz at the coveted ”Platinum” level.
How did I finally reach the Platinum Klutz level?
Years ago, I was noticed by The Inexpert Skills Corp. for my stellar accomplishment as an aspiring klutz. You see, in 3rd grade, I managed to break my wrist by tripping over my own feet. My mother took me to the shoe store and got me a brand new pair of red sneakers earlier in the day. These are the fast ones. When you’re a kid, parents tend to buy slightly oversize shoes so that you can “grow” into them. That’s what we did here.
Later that day, as I was doing speed tests, I stepped on my other foot while running.
Indeed, not a smooth move, and it resulted in my crashing to the pavement and landing on my left hand. The wrist took the impact, and I ended up in a cast for 3 weeks. The Inexpert Skills Corp. put my name on their watch list.
My next noteworthy klutzy move happened in 6th grade. I was playing tag with friends, and my foot went into a gopher hole. I hobbled around the rest of the day. My mom took me to the doctor, and I came home in a cast. This is how I earned my first Klutz card, silver level.
Two days later, we were having a family dinner. I also got a milkshake. While sitting at the dinner table, I reached for something and knocked the shake over, and it spilled down my left leg into my NEW CAST. The worst part of pouring a malt down your cast is the itching. The smell was only temporary. I earned bonus klutz points for this.
One winter day during my 2nd year of college, I walked to class with my arms full of books and papers. The sidewalk was covered in glare ice, and there was a significant downhill slope to the grade. Sure enough, my feet went out in front of me, and I fell backward, hitting the back of my head as I came down. Luckily, it was before 7am, and no one saw me. I heard a ka-ching as I earned more klutz points.
During my mid 20’s I started injuring knee joints. One day I was on a ladder in the back room of a drugstore and managed to get knocked off the ladder by a large box. I ended up tearing the meniscus in my left knee on that incident. I didn’t go under the knife until my knee got so unstable that I couldn’t get on my hands and knees. (Ka-ching! More klutz points.)
I thought that was the last of the knee problems until I exited a shuttle bus at the Boston airport about 5 years ago. I had a computer bag in one hand and my carry-on suitcase in the other. The bus usually pulled right up to the curb, but the curb was about 18 inches away on this particular day. Everyone was jumping off the bus onto the sidewalk, and I did the same. That was a big mistake. I landed wrong (klutz) and did something terrible to my right knee. It hurt like heck, but I managed to treat it with ice and a knee brace. But it almost always hurt after that. (Ka-ching! Racking up more klutz points.)
Flash forward to a few weeks ago, and the basement stairs incident was the climax of that long-lasting knee injury. I’m grateful that there are surgeons out there who can repair much of the damage I inflict on myself.