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Embarrassing and Dangerous Falls and Five Tips to Avoid Them

Three Challenges

Falls – My Most Embarrassing Moment

Sadje asks pertinent questions and even though I’ve told this story to some, it bears repeating because embarrassing to me can be funny to others. Right?

roller skating, living room 1960s Randy, Marsha
This photo submitted for Friendly Friday’s Hands and Feet

In the late 1960s our mother worked in Lloyd Center, the largest mall in the Northwest at that time.  We often went to work with her where there was more to do than at our house.  Our favorite recreation at the mall was ice skating.  

Lloyd Center still has a large ice rink at the center of the mall surrounded by shops and the largest department store in the city on the top floor.  A railing prevented people from hurling themselves from the top level onto the rink and getting a free skating session.  Shoppers stood around the perimeter of the high railing and watched the skaters whirling around below.  On the lower level, where the skating rink was, people sat in the upscale restaurant that lined the rink for better viewing.

Like we did about most things, my brother, Randy and I competed over everything, who got to sit in the front seat of the car, who was fastest, who could eat the most French Fries on the shared plate. You might know the scenarios.

The weirdest thing had happened to Randy that year.  When we moved to Portland, at 15 I stood a proud 5 feet 4.5 inches tall.  Randy topped out at 5 feet 3 inches.  (ha ha) The way younger brothers are supposed to be.  He started growing when he turned 14 or 15.  He stopped one year later at 6 feet 3 inches tall.  I didn’t make the adjustment immediately, I was still older and bigger in my mind.

On this particular night I prepared hurriedly, pinned my hair up, and hastily threw on a frosted gray, page boy wig which, for some STRANGE reason, must have been popular at the time.  No make-up and I was ready to go.  Mom didn’t want to be late to work!

We got out on the ice and I challenged him to a race. We were neck in neck all the way through the first corner.  Then he put his giant legs in gear and with one easy stride glided past me.  As I crossed my legs around the last stretch of the corner for just one more great push, part of my skate stayed cemented in the ice.  Just one little prickly pointy part of my skate refused to budge, and the rest of the skate decided to stay with it.

 Randy gracefully rounded the next corner before he noticed that his spunky sister was MIA.

He was the only one who didn’t see it, however.  The floor guard instantly sped to my aid, spraying ice chips in my red face as he turned to make the rapid stop to help me up.  “Are you OK?” he asked politely.

Of course I was OK.  I was mad and my wig was out of my reach. I ignored his outstretched hand to use both of mine to crawl invisibly over to my wig and get it on as fast as possible.  Which I did.  Even so, I could still see the guard bent over double laughing after he was sure I was all right.

My hair pinned back, I threw on my wig, jumped up and skated for the bathroom trying to get the hair out of my face.

The bathroom – at last –  I looked in the mirror.  My wig was on backwards. I never wanted to go out again.  I took it off and threw it in a locker.  I sat for a few minutes debating about what to do.  Mom would get off work at 9:00.  It was only minutes after 6:00.   The night was young.   I proceeded to unload my hair of bobby pins.  Style was a moot point.  Fine hair blows around anyway.

Fast Forward a Few Years

All my life I have been a faller, and it’s always been a joke in the family. Branches and rocks on the bike path caught in my inline skates causing me to fall on my face. fell in a parking lot three times, on a college campus in a puddle, going up stairs in high school, and those are just the memorable times when people saw, or might have seen me.

However, there were times in the last ten years it’s been funny because I wasn’t seriously hurt, but not a joke. I tripped on a landscape rock while running to take pictures of the night time Christmas Parade. An uneven sidewalk tripped me as I struggled with a purse in one hand and a glass of water in the other. I tripped on our own porch stair carrying an armful of something. Walking alone, texting I tripped on a rock and fell in the middle of a country road. I

Fortunately I always fall forward on my face, except when I’m sitting with my feet in the sink.

Tips to Avoid Falling at All Costs

Older people simply SHOULD NOT FALL. Since I have not fallen in a couple of years, I consider myself somewhat of an expert. LOL

  1. Wear good shoes if you fall a lot. Avoid heels, straps, flip flops and anything with slippery soles. I wear a stability shoe which looks like a running shoe but keeps your foot more stable.
  2. Don’t carry anything between your eyes and your feet. If you can’t see your feet, you could be in trouble.
  3. Be mindful. I am learning what this means, and I haven’t always been mindful. My right foot doesn’t come up as far as I think it does. I know that now, so when I go up steps, I am mindful of what my right foot is doing.
  4. Don’t walk and do other things at the same time – focus. If you are not going to practice mindfulness, then leave your phone in your pocket and camera behind. I’ve broken two cameras and one phone falling.
  5. Use walking sticks (or a cane I dread the day) I don’t use either, but I am holding on to my husband more on trails if I feel nervous about stepping up or down on uneven or slippery slopes.

Do you have a moment in time where you wished you could disappear forever?  I shared ONE of my many embarrassing moments.  Now fair is fair.  It’s your turn!

  • Two shoes, two different colors to an interview?
  • Something broke?
  • You fell off when you were standing on the table? (I did that, too in a school cafeteria after school.)
  • You were onstage when…

More Hands and Feet for Friendly Friday

55 replies »

  1. That incident must be hard to top but my life story is full of all sorts of falls. I broke the cartilage in my right knee twice, the right and left one by falling and twisting my leg. But I found out that I have an excuse for falling that much; I’m flat footed. After getting both my knees replaced, I am super careful not to fall specially on my knees.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a funny and relatable story Marsha. Well, except for the wig part. A wig at 14 ? My head aches just thinking about it 🙂

    I tend to fall too, although I don’t need rocks or uneven surfaces. I fall on perfectly flat sidewalks just because my foot lands funny. Then I hurriedly get up, scoot away and hope no one notices my scraped knees and hands. Slip-on sandals are my nemesis. So, even when its bright & sunny outside, I’m lacing up my walking shoes.

    Thanks for joining Friendly Friday this week!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I fell at USC going upstairs 😀 😀 I actually fell upstairs a couple of times, but the time at USC was embarassing just because of the kids I was with. I was there for a high school college class or something like that. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a funny story Marsha, although I can’;t get over you wearing a grey pageboy wig! Also this line caught my attention ‘Fortunately I always fall forward on my face, except when I’m sitting with my feet in the sink.’ and I wondered what you meant 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Normally I’m standing when I fall. Once I was sitting on the edge of the counter with my feet in the sink trying to clean my blinds. I leaned back too far, and fell flat on my back just missing the rack on the oven door. I was alone and I just lay there for a minute wondering if I was hurt. I wasn’t, so I got up. I don’t remember what I did then. I was a little shook up, but not a bit hurt! I just felt incredibly stupid!! Age about 38.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Silver lining of the incident at the ice rink – you got a great story out of it!

    One of my more embarrassing falls occurred at a trail race. After successfully navigating rocks, roots, loose stones, and creek crossings, while running on a flat, wide path less than a mile from the finish line, I fell over nothing. Flat on my face. A young man who was running behind me came up and offered to help me up, but I had the wind knocked out of me and couldn’t respond. I finally accepted his hand, got up, and finished the race, but my face was red!

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL That’s how I was when I fell outside a restaurant. A man ran across the street from the restaurant to help me up. I was so sick to my stomach that I couldn’t begin to stand even with his help.

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  6. Aww, I could just see you sprawled out and your cute wig skittering across the ice. Sounds like my roller skating days, Marsha! I rarely fell, saving falls until later in life by simply walking my dogs or missing the last step of stairs, which happens a LOT due to my bifocals. Oh, the pain of aging! Great advice and thanks for sharing a poignant moment, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ever since I fell off a ladder and broke my hip several years ago, I’ve been extra careful – although I have tripped and fallen a few times since then (with minor damage, except to my ego).

    The most embarrassing fall happened when I started dating my boyfriend who has since become my husband. It was back in the landline days and he had a phone with a long, long cord that was always spread across his floor. I was walking towards him when my feet started to get tangled in the cord and the more I tried to free them, the more they got tangled. Pretty soon I was on the floor looking up at him. Fortunately I wasn’t hurt and we both ended up laughing. Great way to impress a new boyfriend!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Marsha, Oh the embarrassment of your teen-aged fall! Your Tips are excellent and SO important. I have tripped a number of times. Messed up my face when I turned to talk to my husband instead of looking at the cracks in the sidewalk. Just today tripped coming in from my own backyard because I slipped on flip flops which I know from experience I should never wear!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You sound like a less klutzy version of me, Susan. Turning to talk to someone was the third thing I was doing when I fell in Fresno a few years ago. My friend wanted to take me to the hospital. I think I had a mild concussion, and I knew I couldn’t drive right home 45 miles, but I didn’t think I was hospital material. That was the start of taking the falling thing seriously. I fell in the parking lot at our hotel in Las Vegas wearing flip flops I had just found for a bargain. They flipped on me. That time fortunately we were coming home from a show, and I had no where else to go. I just got up and brushed off. I am much more mindful now. I wore flip flops (sturdier ones) last night to a parking lot get together at our new condo and I carried something, but I was very, very careful. I came back unscathed, but I will not take that as a sign to let up my vigilance. 🙂 Happy fall-free walking to you, Susan. BTW, I turned down an opportunity to climb Mt. Whitney with friends a couple of years ago. I decided it wasn’t worth the risk in the narrow harrowing places.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Maybe not less klutzy! I forgot to tell you about my worst, although in all fairness to me, I did not trip and to this day don’t know what happened. Three years ago I was in the back of the shop where I volunteer and out of the blue catapulted backwards hitting a flight of concrete steps with my back. X-rays confirmed two broken ribs and a small pneumothorax (puncture to my lung). The sad part was that we were supposed to leave for Spain and Portugal two days later to travel with our good friends 😢The silver lining was that I didn’t hit my head and we had travel insurance. The next year we spent three days in Barcelona, the place I most wanted to visit.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Wow, Susan, that was terrible! Good about the travel insurance and that you didn’t hit your head. It must have taken a long time to get better!

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  9. That made for a great story although you must have been so embarrassed at the time – aren’t teenage embarrassments the worst?! I’ve never skated (I have a strong dislike of slippery surfaces!) but nevertheless I’m prone to falling. For years it was just embarrassing (the worst was when I fell on some wet leaves outside a school and several of the school boys hurried to my rescue!) More recently I’ve done some damage when falling. I broke a bone in my foot in a restaurant in Marrakesh, on the first day of a week’s holiday – simply because I wasn’t looking where I was going. I spent the rest of the week in plaster and on crutches, and saw very little of the city (we have since been back). Then two years ago I tripped over some fisherman’s rope in a village in Northumberland even though I DID see it, and ended up with a broken wrist because I put my hand out to break my fall. In between those two there was a nasty bruise, but fortunately no break, when I fell over a kerbstone in Cape Verde. As a result of all of that I’m now super wary of falling but I won’t be surprised if I do it again some time 🤔

    Liked by 1 person

    • Those are not embarrassing falls, just dangerous, Sarah! I have been fortunate to come out with scrapes – almost always on my face – my poor little face! How sad to lose time in plaster and crutches. It never deterred your great attitude that comes through in your pictures. I love your recent feet pictures. You should post a link to that article in the comment section here.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. yes, falling can be problematic at an older age, as I found out a few months ago. But I also recall reading that for many people the fear of falling is sometimes even more of a problem…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Sorry. At your expense, I giggled.
    Oh no! Falls, ouch! Please watch where you’re going. (That was a well thought of list. It should work) reread your own list for more safety measures, Marsha.
    And always, always know what your right foot is doing.
    Thanks for the read.
    To you and your right foot, I wish you miracles.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Selma, I am afraid I need to add two more items to the list. Don’t walk at night, even with a flashlight, and if you do, walk with a friend. I can’t always walk with a friend, but I carry a phone most of the time. Last night I was walking with a friend AT NIGHT, and I missed a tiny little safety bump on ONE sidewalk. There were no bumps on the other street corner ramps. I was looking and being very careful, and I still stopped, dropped and rolled and it wasn’t a fire drill. Fortunately only minor scrapes, and Natalie helped me up once I rolled over on all fours. LOL. “Do you want me to call 911?” (Natalie wasn’t used to old ladies falling, I think.) We kept walking. But yes, I need to watch that right foot. It was the culprit. (First fall in 2-3 years, but I still have the knack!)

      Like

  12. I too am prone to falling but there are normally liquids involved, usually fermented but occasionally distilled. You’ll be glad to know that I am not going to put you off your food by posting any of the subsequent images.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL. I am so careful, I don’t need anything to drink. I walked with a young friend the other night and for the first time in a couple of years miss-stepped and dropped to the ground and rolled several times. I think she thought I was a gonner but once I awkwardly got up we continued our walk where we left off. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Bumping into my boss at a naturist beach would have to be my disappear into the earth moment. It was only the anonymity I thought I’d have tbat made me brave enough to strip off and not care about my micropenis (yes, really) being exposed.

    And then, along she came, right at me, all smiles. There was nowhere to hide.

    Experienced naturists don’t worry about their bodies much and she seemed to have been at ease. It being my first time and all, I’m just glad I didn’t run away in shear terror.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, now that’s a story! Whew! When I was young, my boss wanted me to go with him to a beach like that in Portland. I turned him down. He said it was mostly old people. I would fit right in now! But no I’m not going. Quite a story! You are brave just sharing it! 🙂

      Like

  14. I know I’m late in reading this but this story was very relatable to me. I’m also a faller. I remember as a young child falling on the way to school and ripping open my new tights. In the last few years I’ve tripped on uneven sidewalks numerous times. Like you I alway fall forward and the last time I fell on my face, smack on my nose. I was wearing my mask, had groceries in my hand and for a split second I wasn’t paying attention to my surroundings. Luckily other than my pride I’ve never been seriously hurt. Now I’m super careful when I walk and I walk a lot. Being mindful of what you’re doing is so important as we get older.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my gosh, we are so much alike. I remember coming home from second grade in a rush to see my new red tights Mom had bought me the day before. She said I couldn’t wear them yet. I ran in the front door, tripped on something and fell right on the heat register. My left knee took the brunt of the fall, cutting it in two places. Had I been wearing my tights… Lots of possible scenarios. So there you go. We’re twins from different parents. 🙂 LOL

      Liked by 1 person

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Marsha

Marsha

Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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