The Embodiment of Grace

November 14, 2009

Any of you who have seen me ski, ice skate, or even at times walk, know that either this blog title is not at all referring to me, or is itself actually sarcastic.  In any case, you may want to read on…

So, as mentioned, I have never been one thought of as coordinated.  Simple things, like running, shooting a basketball, or throwing a frisbee, did not come naturally to me.  And quite frankly, still do not.

Let me provide some more concrete examples for you.

During the winters in high school (cold, icy and wonderful Wisconsin winters), my friends would strategically walk behind me on the sidewalk.  To block the wind, you might assume.  Well, maybe, but in addition to providing that important service, I also had a knack for finding the ice spots–quite dramatically.  Complete with arm flails, full spins, and at times, complete wipe-outs.  I went to a Christian high school, which, as any good Christian school should do, mentioned, on multiple occasions, the story of the good samaritan.  This apparently was lost on my friends.  Rather than attempt to help me prevent numerous injuries (even during basketball season), they used my clutsiness to their advantage.  Yes, I was their sacrifical lamb.  Too dramatic?  Maybe… maybe not.

Another example can be found on the ski slope–specifically, the bunny hill.  My first day skiing, the concept of edging or weaving didn’t stick.  I think the technical term is “bombing?”  Yes, I was quite the bunny hill bomber, each time punctuating my high speed dive with a full body crash at the end.  My sister, Andrea, on the other hand (markedly more coordinated than myself), skied gracefully down immediately and did not fall.  Finally, on attempt number 10 (or was it 15) for me, my goal was no longer to maintain control of my speed by weaving down the hill.  I had accepted my bombing tendency, and focused my efforts to staying upright at the bottom of the hill.  I followed my sister up the lift and watched as she carefully began to ski down the hill.  Without even attempting to pass her, I began (as usual) gaining an uncomfortably high amount of speed.  As I felt myself approaching her, unsure whether or not I could stop myself from hitting her, I thought it best to casually and calmly inform her of my presence.  “Andrea!…. look out! I… can’t… stop!!!!”  She did what any other person who had just watched me attempt to ski for 60 minutes would do.  She immediately collapsed in a heap.  I, on the other hand, skied down full blast and miraculously, possibly accidentally, spun around, maintaining my balance, and remained upright.  Out of shear joy, and possibly intense shock, I began to pump my ski poles in the air.  (You might agree with everyone else watching that my enthusiasm did not quite match my accomplishment.  However, you try crashing the bunny hill 10-15 times unsuccessfully while 70 year olds and 4 year olds alike ski down gracefully.)  As my fists hit the air for the 3rd time, I noticed my sister in a clump on the hill glaring at me.  Yes, at this time, we both wish I was more coordinated.

So, why, you might ask, and I too, did I just spend all this time talking about skiing.  Not sure.  I think I want it to snow.  The main point of this story was to provide the context (for those of you unfamiliar with my natural athletic skill) for the story tonight.

My friend and I had just spent the night out on the town, mainly wandering around, but also telling stories and laughing.  She told me this amazing story (she’s a writer, I’ll have her tell you) about the two times she fell over on her bike.  Recently.  As I listened to her stories, I felt secure in my biking abilities, as if nothing like that would happen to me.

One hour later…

We are biking back along the trail.  Thankfully, my friend led the way, as I would have preferred biking on the street.  As I was biking, I noticed my right foot start to feel tense, as if a shoelace was wrapping around it and sticking to the pedal.  Well, it was.  The next part of the story gets hazy–it happened oh so fast–so, I’ll give you Lauren’s version.  Apparently, I yelled, “Lauren, hold on!”, threw both of my arms into the air, and completely tipped over to the ground.  I do not remember being quite so dramatic, but I guess it doesn’t surprise me.  Not only am I a clutz.  I’m a total drama queen.

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2 Responses to “The Embodiment of Grace”

  1. Andrea said

    If I remember correctly, your skis were broken which was why you kept falling down the bunny hill…so give yourself a little credit =)

  2. Becca said

    That is the way I skied when I first started. Good old WI and MN, no need to learn how to turn. I had a story just like yours in 7th grade in front of my friends at Buck hill. After I sped full blast down the hill I was trying to stop and toppled down the chalet stairs and knocked someone down. So embarrassing for a 13 year old! And hey…you never fell rollerblading. Seriously, I really hope you’re ok though, cause falling off a bike can be pretty brutal.

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