Falling for 20 minutes is how my dad put it. I didn’t learn until I fell a couple of years ago that I have an imbalance in my inner ears. The vestibular system was out of balance. My right ear tested 60% different from my left. I’m not a doctor, so I’m sure a professional can better explain it, but the bottom line is that my balance is and always has been compromised. It explains a lot.
When I played football in school, I was always one of, if not the fastest, player on the team. However, when we ran sprints I could never run a straight line. I’d get called out for bumping into others. I’d explain it wasn’t on purpose, but no one believed me.
When I was taking swimming lessons at the Krannert YMCA, I’d swim from the left boundary to the right. Thank goodness ropes divided the lanes.
And then there’s ice skating. When I was a pre-teen, my younger brother, sister, and I received Ice skates. I think it was for Christmas. We took our skates with us when we visited our moms’ parents that winter, the Reverend Dale and Janet Holly, our grandparents lived in western Pennsylvania. He had been transferred to a small town by the Methodist church. There was a frozen pond next to the parsonage.
Even though we’d never skated before, my siblings and I grabbed our skates and headed to the pound as our parents and grandparents watched from a large window at the house. My brother and sister took to skating right away. They looked confident and graceful. I remember my sister even did a spin or two.
Falling for 20 Minutes
I don’t think I ever totally straightened up. My arms flayed, my legs spread out like I was trying to do the splits, and my body bent forward and back continuously. I did a good job of not totally losing it and breaking my neck. I didn’t fall until I tried to stop. No one had told me how to stop.
When we returned inside, all the adults were smiling and laughing. My dad looked at me and said he’d never seen someone fall for 20 minutes.
Just a few years ago, my two oldest grandchildren were visiting when we decided to go ice skating. We headed to a large rink in downtown Indianapolis. The kids had a blast, and I had a wonderful time watching from the stands.