Free Falling

Here is who falls down flights of stairs:

  • Clowns
  • Jason Bourne
  • Me

(Just so we're clear, I use "falls" in a general way to cover, "intentionally falling down a short flight of circus stairs in order to get laughs from children," "being thrown down dark stairways by assassins," and, "slipping on too-long pajama bottoms with a.) no premeditated intent to fall, or b.) anyone threatening pursuing you from the bedroom behind you...and why would there be because it's 11AM on a Tuesday?")

As with previous sports I've played, I assumed my best bet on my first try falling down a flight of stairs would be to copy the style of people who were already pros,  and, since I tend to be good at things that require more force and less finesse, stair falling would seem like a natural fit. With my plan in place and confidence on my side, I slipped on the top step of our stairs.

My form, I feel, left something to be desired.

It must have been a lack of focus.

I tried to fix Jason Bourne's bounce-back elasticity in my mind, but I think - and I'm just speculating here - that I went down less like a graceful cat (a well-muscled, dirty-blonde cat with lightning reflexes, amnesia, and a tenacious thirst for the truth) and more like, um...a bag of hammers.

To be more clear, hammers with no thirst for truth, attractive martial arts skills or the ability to kill someone with a hardback book. Just hammers. In a bag.

And not a nice bag designed for hammers, like with tool loops. More like a burlap hammer sack.

This was disappointing, to say the least.

(To be fair to the hammers, if they could get themselves together post-fall, they might not need a book to kill someone, being hammers and all. But still.)

I was not even able to bring an amusing prat fall quality to the proceedings, which was additionally unsatisfying.

Nor did I stand up and make it clear to the crowd (not present) and judges (ditto) that I was done with my effort and proud of it by raising both arms above my head like a tiny gymnast who has never tasted an almond croissant or seen the outside of a gym. No. I lay at the bottom of the stairs for a moment and said something interview-worthy like, "Aaaahhh," before starting to go into shock.

This is not what you want in a competitive athlete or your star assassin. It's probable that I am out of the running for Cirque du Soleil as well.

It did occur to me later that I ought to have jumped up and kept going, staunching the flow of blood with vodka and sports socks stolen from the convenience store I dodged into to avoid my attacker. But the closest convenience store is up a very steep hill from our house which is just excessively tiring. I mean, really. And the guy who works there is super nice, so I just can't see stealing their liquor. Maybe if I were in Russia, where crime and vodka are more plentiful. Maybe then.

Also, I have a hard time classifying my pajama pants as an "attacker" per se, despite their catalytic role in the whole incident. They're from the Gap.

Oh - did I mention I was covered in coffee? My coffee. Not some cool, assassin trick coffee. Keurig coffee. From a yellow plastic Crate & Barrel mug circa 1974. I think that mug really took the last bit of edge off the venture. I'm cutting that from future attempts.

So all in all, not a great experience, my first complete stair fall. It resulted in some non-life-threatening injuries, some irritating x-rays and no death-by-book for anyone else. I can't say I'm proud of my performance, which is what we're all really looking for in our sports, win or lose, right?

On the up side, it sets the bar very low for my next trip down. The addition of any flair (or killing of assassins) whatsoever would be improving on my current personal best. From here on the floor at the bottom of the stairs, there is, literally, nowhere to go but up. So there's that.

I feel a little bit better

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