Fear of Falling

I’ve had chairs pulled out from under me, twice.

Both times were in junior high. I even remember the names of the boys who did so: Robert Corrica, & later Bobby Dunbar. I’m sure they grew up to be model citizens who would be mortified to know they humiliated & injured an abused child with a neuromuscular disease. No reason was ever given for these betrayals of the trust that my chair would be beneath me when I sat. I was a good kid who skipped a couple of grades & had a funny accent. I guess that was enough.

And who can imagine why an adult would throw his own child at a wall? But there you are. I have hip & back problems that I’ve overcome quite magnificently considering I have fibromyalgia.

At least I thought I did, until I started personal training last Wednesday. Let me preface this with the simple, delightful fact that training is awesome. I enjoy it immensely. I get such a rush of endorphins from strength training that at Target I mistook a small Filipina woman for my friend Shelli (who is Italian) & ran over to hug her. She walked away from me very quickly.

Oh yeah, I also was picked up by a gust of wind on a mountain-top ice skating rink & deposited unceremoniously on my arse. I couldn’t walk for two months. What I’m saying is, I’ve fallen a lot. That’s not even counting fibro falls.

I hate falling.

It hurts.

The resulting injuries always make me need help. I hate needing help.

Even sans falls, people with fibro have problems with proprioception, so that in and of itself is problematic.

So imagine my shock to learn that my nemesis is the bench assisted squat. My trainers assure me I am not a pain in the ass (no pun intended), but I feel my poor guy ate through much of my session trying to teach me to sit without looking behind me. And he couldn’t do it. Not today. As a last ditch attempt, he gave me some homework where I basically have to practice touching the wall with my butt.

I wish I were kidding.

I went home and practiced. I successfully touched the wall with my butt from three inches away without bending at the waist or looking behind me with my shoulders back & chest out & with my weight on the balls of my feet 3 times.

I’m very proud of myself, cos the 4th time I about had a panic attack & had to stop.

I haven’t thought about Robert Corrica or Bobby Dunbar since I was 10. That was almost 29 years ago. You bet I remembered them tonight.

Yes, my lower back hurts, but I know this exercise will reduce the pain, eventually. My trainer asked how I pick up anything off the floor & I said “Gran pliés,” because hello, childhood ballerina. But gran pliés are not squats, & they don’t build muscle like squats, & also I need to stop turning my toes out so much.

What I failed to tell him is that sometimes the fibro pain is bad enough that if something ends up on the floor, hey, new cat toy.

This reminds me that I totally forgot to tell the trainer a thing about me that my roommate made me promise to remember. When we clean for a party, I overwork so hard that when we have the actual party, I’m in tremendous pain, dealing with fog, & don’t enjoy the party. I actually don’t remember why I had to tell the trainer that. I’ll reread this later & suss out the significance then. Maybe you’ll tell me.

So anyhow, I feel like a fearful failure, but I’m trying to do something about it, because that’s the only way to get better. I should ask him to just barely touch my arm next time so I know I won’t miss the bench. That’s a reasonable request, right?

God, I’m lame. SUCK IT UP, RED!

Update 12/5/12:
YOU GUYS! I touched the wall with my butt IN PROPER FORM 20 times today! Lenny Kravitz helped. It’s best not to ask. I CAN TOUCH THE WALL WITH MY BUTT!! Woo!


6 thoughts on “Fear of Falling

  1. @bteacher99 says:

    Just in case you are wondering…you aren’t lame (in that sense at least) and you are most definitely not a failure. Someday, you will look back at this first training session, and laugh, and remember how it once was but is no longer. Go, KJ!!

  2. manofaiki says:

    Awesome new success! I’m sure the world eagerly awaits the chance to experience the power of a healthier kelliejane!

  3. Bully for thee!

    When I was in the third grade, I pulled someone’s chair out. Why? Because I saw it on so many movies and black-n-white TV shows and it always seemed like a funny thing to do. The expected outcome from the victim would be a companionable “Oh, okay, you got me”. Right?

    Pulled this guy’s chair out while he was talking to some girl. Can’t remember his name (Jamie?), but he was one of the cool guys in class (hence, being able to talk to a girl). I went back to my desk, smiling to myself in anticipation of the hijinks that were about to ensue, and waited.

    He sat. No chair. Bam.

    This did not go like on TV. His butt hit the floor, hard, and he immediately grabbed it and bit down on his lip hard, like someone was removing a bullet and he was trying to man up and get through. His eyes were tightly closed. And worst of all, it looked like he might cry. With everyone watching, and a girl right there, the cool kid might have been about to start crying.

    This all goes at normal speed now, as I’m writing it, but when it actually happened, it all went down in a heartbeat, and I was almost immediately on my feet. Not to rush to help or anything so noble, but the horrific guilt yanked me out of my seat and made me start rambling at high speed. I don’t think anyone could even hear me (or would be able to at the pace I was jawing), but still my quicksilver confession flowed, filled with lots of words I don’t recall that all amounted to “That’s now what was supposed to happen” and “I didn’t mean it.”

    Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure about the part about no one hearing me, because, as I recall, he never knew I’d done it (or that anyone had done it, as for all he knew he’d just missed his chair). If one person did hear me, or at least saw the look on my face, it was our teacher, Mr. Shore (a recovering hippie who had us all singing Bob Dylan songs during music time). Our eyes met for a moment. I’m sure he pieced it together. But I think he also saw how mortified I was, and figured that I’d learned my lesson well enough, for there were no reprisals forthcoming. He just asked if (Jamie?) was okay, (Jamie?) said that he was, got up and sat down in his chair, mostly having regained his machismo.

    So of all the things I learned in third grade, the one that I remember most clearly was that pulling out chairs is NOT FUNNY. Yet another lie that television taught me.

    • kelliejane says:

      You were a good kid 🙂

      My chair pullers were laughing, as were the other boys, & the second time I’m pretty sure someone won a bet as to what kind of underwear I had on (white w/ blue flowers, FTR). At my school, girls had to wear skirts. I wasn’t mortified by that so much as annoyed that I was in pain again.

      Junior high is stupid. Being 10 when everyone else is 12 is also very odd.

  4. Tracy Cabe says:

    You are definitely not lame by any measure KJ. I find you brave and inspiring.

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