Maggie Wilson Author

Historical Non-Fiction in Northern Ontario

Slips, Trips, and Falls: Part 1

Don't Leave Home Without 'Em!

Don’t Leave Home Without ‘Em!

Sunglasses? Check. House keys? Check-check. Cell phone? Checkity- check-check! Good to go.

To where am I going you ask? Nowhere special. Just a walk around the neighbourhood to stretch my legs. So why the cell phone if I don’t use it to text or call anyone? The only incoming calls are from hubby at day’s end when he’s leaving work.

Why the cell phone?

In case I fall.

I’m afraid that I will sprain my ankle and fall and not be able to get home. I’ve considered taking a walking stick, or a cane, just in case.

I see those eyeballs rolling! Come on, Maggie. Really?  I do not blame you!

It’s happened about a half-dozen times over the years. I’ve injured both ankles, each time more severely than the last: just walking along the dang-blang sidewalk! I figure I’m due for another slip up any day now.

Lethal in the wrong hands... er, feet.

Lethal in the wrong hands… er, feet.

My most recent tumble was about three years ago. You know those fancy-schmancy walking shoes? The ones with a tapered heel that keep you trim and fit as you balance on what little remains of the sole. I was wearing them as I walked home from work. I stepped on the edge of the sidewalk exactly where the adjacent grass concealed a hole in the ground. Because there was no heel to hit the ground, my ankle turned further than it would have in a normal pair of walking shoes.

Down I went. I heard a snap. The neighbourhood heard a mighty roar: a furious and indignant curse. Luckily, I was just outside of the public library. The librarian called for a taxi. I must have looked shocky, because both she and the cab driver encouraged me to go to the emergency clinic.

The physical pain was bad. The emotional pain was a thousand times worse. I felt vulnerable and ashamed for being so careless, for being so inept and lacking grace.

Emotional ghosts of torments past haunted me. The words of dear old Dad, “Good God, Margaret, why don’t you watch where you are walking! You’re as clumsy as an elephant!”

Oh, hey, there’s the gym teacher, too: “You will stay until you clear the vault. That’s all there is to it! Now, just DO IT!”

An ex-husband also raged at my less than Olympic performance as I struggled to climb up a steep trail.

I thanked the cabbie for the suggestion, but told her to take me home. The last thing I wanted was to face anyone at this point. Then I did what any injured animal does. I retrieved the ice pack, poured myself a drink and hid.

It was the worst sprain I have ever had. My brother convinced me to get X-rays. The ankle was not broken, thank goodness. It took the better part of a year before I could walk with confidence.

The shoes rest quietly in a landfill somewhere.

My demons rest quietly and wait for their next cue.

***   ***   ***   ***   ***   ***   ***

Something happened on the weekend that I want to explore by writing. It is longer than usual, so I will set it out in parts. This is the first in the series. As it turns out, today’s Daily Prompt fits quite well with the theme of my story. It asks, “Do you hold a grudge or do you believe in forgive and forget?” 

The short answer to the question is no, I do not hold grudges. To me that implies plotting revenge, or never letting down my guard. I am neither clever nor motivated enough.

I practice forgiveness, mostly for my sake. Most often the person that needs forgiveness is me for being in the line of fire in the first place.

Forgetfulness? Hell, I’m 58 and menopausal. Yes, I forget, names, dates, and the such-and-such theory of whatever field of study I researched last week. All ancient history. Trivial things. Vanished.

But events that shaped my psyche and are indelibly etched on my character? Push the right button and I’m transported back to the incident in a heartbeat.

Photo Credit Source for purse and Source for shoes: Look at me, all nicely accessorized!




Categories: Daily Post, Personal Growth

Tags: ,

57 replies

  1. I am a believer that the universe seeks balance in all things, and so it is that I might be your counterbalance. While you seem to hurt yourself doing virtually nothing, I’m at the other end of the spectrum. I’ve had some pretty scary accidents – almost all of them involving a bicycle – and walked away with only a few scratches and bruises when I probably should have been killed (thank god for good helmets) – or at least broken a bone or two.
    It must be terribly frustrating for you 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Joanne. If the counterbalance thing bears out, why don’t you and I make a deal with the powers in charge – ask for a passing grade and have done with it. I’m tired of failing at basic walking and I’m sure you have had enough serious injury. eek! sorry to hear that bit of bad news. Do you have lingering effects of the injuries?


      • I’ve been very lucky – I have just a few minor scars.
        I agree that at this age we should get a pass for good behaviour 🙂
        I can’t imagine how difficult it has been for you just trying to walk without hurting yourself. “Take care” takes on a whole new meaning with you.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Joanne, I am in your boat as well. Many of my incidents have come on bike, including one car-versus-bike crash that I have blogged about before.

      I am sometimes clumsy in other ways, but thankfully not on a bike.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Feel better, Maggie, I had a fear of kites for 33 years, because I had not one or two incidents of being hit in the head with a kite, but SEVEN! They included two black eyes and one concussion. I flew a kite about this time last year, and I was incredibly proud, but I’ll always be somewhat skeptical about them.
    Also, I take my phone on walks with the dog, including the five-to-ten minute jaunt to the bus stop. I can fall, too. Anyone can fall, fancy shoes or not. I did fall in December, fortunately in the snow and without pain. A phone seems reasonable to me, although I lack grace as well, I just think it makes good sense! 🙂


  3. Oh, the horrible forgetfulness. What was I going to say? Forgetting mid sentence – “Where was I going with this?” Argh. I hear your pain. Both your ankle and your brain. Carry on, Maggie. It’s better than the alternative.


  4. God, Maggie. I am SO sorry for your accidents and ankle injuries. I pre-scheduled a post for after A to Z about my broken bones! No comfort in knowing others share your pain, is there? I don’t want anyone going through what I did!


  5. In another 10-12 years, your mobile (or whatever) will be your inseparable companion for this very reason. In the September of the year Chic died, I blacked out coming back from doing some local shopping, crashed to the paved floor of this building’s external foyer, dislocated my right shoulder and split my head open. They told me that the whole foyer was covered in blood ! Oo-er ! Three years later,after my beloved 2nd-eldest sister died, I fell over (I think !) on the pavement of another suburb, while there to shop. Carried away in an ambulance. Oo-er again. I don’t know if all this was just my hopeless old brain, or something to do with shopping … But I never go anywhere at all without my mobile, since …


  6. Oo-er, indeed! I could expand on the joke about shopping as a health hazard, or allude to being tough and fragile at the same time, but I won’t. I’m glad you recovered from both spills, Margaret Rose! Yikes!


  7. I have shoes like that! They are soooo unstable. Get rid of them! Not worth the pain and suffering. Oh, and by the way? They are supposed to tone the butt and calves? Huh. I didn’t notice a difference. 🙂


  8. Rest up, Maggie Mae. But don’t feel bad. I trip just over cracks on the sidewalk and have fallen, really getting quite bloody and bruised. I happen to think taking your cell phone with you is a good idea anyhow. There have been two times that I left it because I had no pockets while walking/running. BOTH times, someone needed me quite urgently. I just don’t trust the universe’s way of teaching lessons sometimes. Speaking of the universe…doncha just love it when something you’re about to write anyhow, fits in perfectly with the prompt! Yeah!

    ps. and you ARE all nicely accessorized! But does someone really have a leopard patterned key??


    • That universe: it’s really rather freaky sometimes. Like there’s a WordPress editor reading my thoughts! I guess this is one more instance of how very much alike we are.
      PS reply: I had not noticed the leopard pattern though, until you mentioned it!


  9. Beautifully told, and hopefully you will remain in tact without any more mishaps!
    I have broken bones in my feet several times. once at school (foot in a pothole, I didn’t see) and another time just stacking the wood ( few breaks that time!), but it is the feeling of foolishness that I find most disconcerting!!


  10. All my numerous injuries are mostly the result of no one knows. I could climb mountains and run trails like a goat, but put me on level ground in reasonable shoes and SPLAT!!!!


  11. I commiserate with every word of your post, Maggie. At 75, remaining upright is a challenge, and when I fall, I’m a beached whale searching for something stable enough to pull myself up. Some of my spills have been in my own house, but my most embarrassing was at the bank when my foot caught a chair leg. I was immediately surrounded by solicitous personnel insisting I sit while they questioned me (probably for the security camera), hoping I wasn’t hurt. Rug burns hardly justify a lawsuit. I sometimes have a near miss and thank my dear deceased husband for catching me in time. My kids keep telling me to just pay attention and lift my feet up when I walk, but little do they know that balance is often a precarious thing. Hang in there, Maggie – we can do ‘er!


  12. Oh, Maggie, I certainly feel for you. My daughter told me last night that she doesn’t think she’s ever seen my legs without a bruise on them somewhere! I’m constantly bumping myself. I’ve broken both ankles and sprained them both several times–all while attempting some ridiculous physical feat! (like walking)

    Ice that ankle and get some rest–but don’t forget to flex it now and again, so it doesn’t stiffen up. Hope you heal very soon! 🙂


  13. Oh, thanks for your kind words, but the sprain happened almost three years ago. I am glad that you wrote, though. I feel better knowing that I am not the only one who has not mastered Walking 101. 🙂


  14. You do EXACTLY what I do upon injury, which is to retrieve ice pack AND drink! I did just that when I stepped into a boat–bottom was MUCH farther down than I perceived–and turned my ankle. WAIT. I had a margarita BEFORE stepping into boat. Which may have contributed to misperception and injury. I have a picture of the ankle somewhere…elevated.


  15. Egads, you see all these young girls wearing absurdly high heels. Hmmmm, you have to think those shoes are nothing more than a higher platform to tumble from. Oh well, they are young and they bounce.


  16. The humiliation is FAR worse than the physical pain. Tip for the future – never attempt stairs in bifocal glasses – unless you’re rich and glamorous, of course, which seems to include the ability to sail down stairs in a long skirt and 6″ heels without looking at your feet as part of the package. Although then laser surgery on the eyes would have made bifocals superfluous, so the tip would be a gratuitous insult.


    • Thanks, Helen. You get it, too, about the humiliation. Thanks.
      I guess it’s time to confess: been there, done that, worn the glasses. I gave up on the progressive lens. I was wearing my reading glasses when I took a spill on the basement stairs. Missed the bottom step. Dumb-dumb. I should have known better.


  17. Hi, Maggie,

    I also tripped and stumbled frequently. I learned that my right foot has a “drop” when I’m fatigued: It drags, and thus is far more likely to catch up on whatever is most available. I made myself a little more aware of how I lift the front of my foot ALL the time–which, inevitably, evolved to both feet. I can now be seen reading books while I walk–slowly–like in Fahrenheit 451 (sticking to paved or more level ground). Side-effect: Better body awareness, fewer trips and falls from pure carelessness and my Meniere’s!

    Which all adds up to: Even if foot-drop is not your issue, you also might try tricking yourself. Think about raising the front of your right foot (if right-handed) slightly more when you walk–perhaps by lifting your whole leg more by that great thigh muscle and letting your knee lead the way slightly more than is your current habit–before swinging your lower leg and foot forward, out, and down.

    (Jeez, what an Aspie-nerdish comment–could it BE any longer or “teachier”?–Plus, we both know writing it practically guarantees I’m headed down a flight of stairs tomorrow!)


    • OK, first things first: OB! Stay away from stairs tomorrow!
      Second, I love your comments. And I’ve been meaning to tell you for some time now that I suspect that I might be borderline Aspie. At least within the neighbourhood of the personality style. I totally get the intention behind your long and helpful post. Been there, done that, got the funny looks.
      More to come about my right leg in the next installment of Slips Trips and Falls, but suffice to say, yeah, I drag my right leg, too. I’ll practice what you suggest.


  18. Great story Maggie, very well told.


  19. LOL I ‘fell’ for those shoes also and mine are in the dump as well. 😀 (And yes, I have forgiven them 😉 Certain other people, no. I can hold a grudge. Not a hate filled mean spirited grudge. I can easily stop talking to people… never ever again, no problem. 😉

    Take care, Maggie! Tread lightly but carry a big walking stick 😉


    • I recall when these shoes first hit the marketplace and I thought, what a brilliant idea! Tone your butt/calves/thighs/abs or all of the above while walking! Awesome! (Not unlike Dr. Scholls from the 1970’s now that I think of it) They should have been packaged with huge neon warning sticker.
      As for your grudge… if it’s what I think it is, I suspect it has more to do with defining and protecting boundaries. If that’s a definition of grudge, well, then yes, I do that, too. 🙂


      • OH yes, Dr. Scholls! They had wooden soles! OMG I car hopped wearing those one shift when I was a teen LOL don’t’ remember why LOL but I ended with a solid blister covering the entire bottom of each foot. Literally could not walk at all for days after that and was fired.

        Boundaries! You’ve hit the nail on the head! I put up with a lot until they go too far and take advantage. You are so right! 😀


  20. What a bummer Maggie. I think I can make you feel a bit better though. After I turned 40, feeling still like I was 30 or less, I thought a pair of those cool skates within tennis shoes would be such fun to have! I promptly bought a pair, donned my Daisy Duke shorts and asked my then 14 year old son if he wanted to ride his bike while I skated around the block. He’s no speed demon and while I waited impatiently for him to pull his bike from the garage, I stood at the edge of the road where the pavement ended abruptly in a three inch drop. I was literally standing STILL there when from nowhere, the air gave me a nudge, knocking my legs straight out in front of me and I fell directly to my butt, left wrist straight down. Somewhere in my mind I actually SAW the place where it fractured. Pain? Yep! Humiliation? Yep. Especially when the emergency receptionist begged me to tell her I was NOT trying to hop burgers at the local Sonic……’re doing great Maggie! Can’t wait for the next chapter. :))


  21. Well, that DID make me smile, Cheryl! But ow-ow-ow! That must have smarted and then some! Thanks for the great story!



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  6. Share Your World – January 30, 2017 – The Zombies Ate My Brains
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