Love tumbling. Awesome to watch those lithe young gymnasts hit the mat head over heels, over head, over heels, over and over again across the floor. Everyone cheers and the adrenaline courses through my body even though I’m just sitting there watching–on TV. Never actually been to one of those events but I do get to the gym once or twice a week.
This past Saturday I even got to do a little tumbling myself during my workout. It was exciting–really.
It started out with my regular routine. I went to the bathroom as usual, cause I’d never make it through a workout without it even though I went at home two or three times before we left. Then I hit the treadmill as usual. I like to do a slower warm-up minute and build up to a crisp, fast walk while I listen to my ipod. I don’t run. I can’t run. It sounds like an elephant pounding through the jungle, distracts everybody, so I never run.
But, earphones plugged into my head, listening to an eclectic list of tunes I’ve collected over the years, and looking up at the TVs above watching and reading the captions along the bottom of the screen, I do a mile at 3.8 on the speed setting which usually takes me about sixteen minutes or so.
The walking was going great, right up until my body decided, heck wouldn’t this be a great time to add a tumbling routine. Right here on the treadmill. Show everybody how athletic I am. Awesome idea!
So with the last few fractions of a mile to go, I reached up and grabbed my ipod to tuck it in the back of my workout sweats. Just to keep the zen music going as I performed my tumbling feat. Then I gracefully executed a slide step to the left off the running treadmill belt and planted the toe of my left shoe firmly on the fixed edge which created the most exhilarating tumble I have ever experienced.
Now if I had been a good, conscientious gym member, I would have attached that little stop clip thingy that shuts the machine off if you suddenly lose coordination and become horizontally inclined rather than vertically, as all treadmill users know you need to be. But I have never thought myself either that clumsy or that old that I needed such assistance. Always glad it was there for those who might, but no, not me. However, if I had used the clip, it would’ve saved me from riding the belt on my bum, spinning like a top, and flying off the back end to flop on the mat behind the machine in a less than gracious dismount.
Ah, well, hindsight is 20/20, but my hind bumping onto the floor was not a sight I wanted anyone to see. Still, I was not as embarrassed as I would’ve thought. I was more confused and overwhelmed. The nice thing was at least four people came rushing over to help me, asking if I was okay. One woman turned my treadmill off for me as I sat there looking up still wondering what the heck happened. But I checked myself carefully and couldn’t find any major injuries, though my left hand hurt. I jammed my fingers straight down on the handle as I tried to grab it on my way south.
That ungainly, disastrous tumble, and all that hurt was the first three fingers of my left hand. I thought I got off pretty good, though the back of my hand swelled up and the fingers turned yellowish brown. But my fiance and I still went out the next day on the Harley’s. I put about 120 miles on the odometer using my clutch hand in spite of the soreness and swelling. I think it actually helped to keep it moving.
Through it all, somehow, it didn’t occur to me to be embarrassed until after I left the treadmill and started working out on another machine. I think my age may be catching up to me. It took ten minutes or so for my face to warm with emotion and think about how it had to have looked, a grown woman spinning around out of control in a wild treadmill break-dance move.
And believe it or not, while I was still feeling the smarts of raw emotion, not to mention the ache in my left hand, I thought, Too bad somebody didn’t get that on video. It might’ve gone viral and I’d be famous for my tumbling act. Darn, where’s the paparazzi when you need them?