Wednesday, October 25, 2017


 Although I like to consider myself an athlete, my incompetency line draws ever closer to obliterating anything and everything in it's path.

 On a few occasions in recent years, my wife has had the opportunity to be on a stand up paddle board. It seemed an undertaking no more complex than buttering toast. Or so one would believe.

Recently it was my turn. The board sat on the water's edge, gentle waves  caressing my toes as I  pushed forward. My wife's instructions were to begin in a kneeling position and then elevate myself. I didn't comprehend that this involved paddling out to calmer waters before moving from step one to step two.

Within but a second or two of rising,  I was in a major disagreement and had ended my very short lived relationship with my erstwhile companion underfoot. The resulting thud, in but a foot or so of water, my left shoulder making a direct line for danger, was exclamation point on my shortcomings.

 In the immediate moments after something untoward like this occurs, there is a flood of uncertainty and a rush of questions. 

Am I truly injured or merely stunned? Am I  unlucky or just an idiot for allowing myself to be the central character in the never ending saga of "don't trust this man with a sharp instrument?" Where will this rank in the lore of things I do badly? Why is this stranger asking me so many questions when I can't even catch my breath?

I happened to be traveling with a host of friends who were well equipped to determine if my fall from grace was catastrophe or comedy. And so they posed a series of can you do this and does it hurt when you do that inquiries and when I could do this and wasn't crying when asked to do that, they announced that the worst damage sustained was to my ego.

It is a dangerous occupation being me. Never more than a moment away from an unintended consequence. Never truly certain of my current state and following a path that is forever teetering on the edge of a precipice. For now it was the surf that took me down. Tomorrow it could be almost anything.

For those who may be wondering about the initials at the top of this piece, they are but shorthand for what my wife, and her fellow ski patrolers deal with every day on the slopes. "Fall down go boom." 

I think it would be an appropriate title for my autobiography.


Anonymous said...

Excellent … and so true!


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Robert said...

More like indignity

Anonymous said...

Really, trying to board? Did you dye your hair blonde first?