What kind of an idiot falls off an exercise ball ? I prefer not to judge. I would like to say that it would have to be a special kind of an idiot. A lovely person who is obviously… a special kind of an idiot. Oh yeah that special person would be me. Oh, I do have special tripping talents. I have managed to fall down stairs a couple…ahem…a few…ok…numerous times over the years. I have walked into corners and furniture and stairs and I am sure I have broken my little piggies a few times. Falling off a bouncy exercise ball is a new kind of injury for me. Now, if you can stop laughing hysterically for a second, I will tell you the story of “The Exercise Ball and the Idiot”.
Once upon a time, about 5 months ago, I started going to the gym. Wiseguy signed us up. Wiseguy wanted to strengthen the muscles around his knees. Me? I wanted to build up arm muscles so when I fall down (which I do quite often) I would be ninja-nimble and would be able to stop myself from a catastrophic fall OR I would be able to more easily pick myself up instead of laying there helpless saying, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.” Both good reasons to hit the gym. I must admit that seeing all the toys…ahem…equipment, made me want to have some of those fun things at home in case I couldn’t make it out to the gym. You know, sudden summer snowstorm or something like that. I live in Canada, eh? Anyway, this is how I ended up being the proud owner of an exercise ball. A very large, round exercise ball. One that needed to be air filled prior to use.
I am not sure if you know or not, but there are different size balls that you can purchase. When Wiseguy asked me what size I wanted I figured go for the biggest one. It made prefect sense to me. More ball for the money. Hmmm, knowing what I know now the largest ball was NOT the way to go. It’s sort of like riding a bike that’s too large for you. If your feet can’t reach the floor, you have the wrong equipment. Don’t get ahead of me.
I waited for Wiseguy to blow it up. No, no, not KABOOM! but more like foot pedal and pump to inflate my new ball. I couldn’t wait to start doing exercises! Time passed. My ball, like my spirit, was deflated. I wanted to get rockin’ on some ab/core exercises. That ball had to be filled! I decided I had enough smarts to do this on my own. HAH!
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like reading instructions. I believe I’m smart enough to figure out how to do stuff just by looking at all the available parts. Round peg, round hole right? I opened the box and heaved out the ball. I dug out the pump. I pulled out the hose. Back to basics: Stick nib on pump. Stick nib into hole in ball. It fits…round peg, round hole. Hose attaches to pump. Press foot up and down on pump. HA! Easy-peasy! The air whistled as my ball began to expand. It grew and grew. It got rounder and rounder and fuller and fuller. Hmmm, how full should it be? I had to get the instructions. Ummm 0.6 psi. Great! How much is that? I briefly scanned over the instructions to see if there were any hints it could give me about the psi. Then my brain had a genius idea. I recalled sitting on a stability ball at the gym. I would test my new equipment with “butt memory.” I plopped my rear end on the ball, perused the instructions to see if the pictures could give me a clue. There were a variety of pictures of stick figures sitting incorrectly on the ball. Large “X” through their bodies. In picture language that meant “DO NOT” sit like this. Well duh…of course not. Right? Only an idiot would fall off an exercise ball. Right?
I bounced up and down a bit, ever so slightly to test the firmness and bounciness of it. That’s when art became life. I became the stick figure with the grand ‘X’ running through it. The rest happened in slow motion. Nooooooooooooo!!!! I felt my body lean sideways. I felt my one leg raise off the floor. In trying to regain balance I managed to get the ball moving in a mostly backward direction. Ah….the law of gravity…why would my body not break this law! My ball slowly rolled backward. My left foot became air born and started heading skyward. I struck out with my right foot to try and get some floor with it, but that only increased the momentum. The ball kept rolling backward. In slow motion I felt my knees heading toward my chest, my back arching on the ball and my head going down to the ground. No good could come from this dynamic move. Even worse were my volatile surroundings. So serene when used as a sitting room, but lethal when an “idiot” is rolling backward on a huge exercise ball.
Behind me was a sturdy wood sideboard. On that sideboard was a lovely stainless steel espresso machine. The espresso machine was sitting on a glass cutting board. The cutting board was large and jutted outward approximately one inch from the sideboard. Beside the sideboard were my extra oven rack and my cookie cooling racks. My mind worked quickly to assess the damage before the final landing occurred. Metal and more metal. Edges. Lots and lots of detrimental edges.
Thought process: I am going to hit the ground hard. I will end up unconscious. Since Wiseguy won’t be home until late I will die from my head injuries. Waldo and Lucy, my beloved pets, won’t know what the hell happened and will continue to bark at walking passers by. Wiseguy will come home and find me dead. How will he survive without me? Who will cook his meals? No one can cook as great as I can. He won’t last long without me. What about the dogs? Who will take care of them? The grandkids…I won’t see them all grown up. I won’t see them married off. Will the kids think I’m an idiot too? Who will clean up the blood? Hope it won’t hurt too long. Wish I had Life Call. “Help I’ve fallen…” you get the idea. Then…
WHACK! CRACK! BANG!
My head hit the floor. My right foot whacked into the oven rack. My left foot hit the glass cutting board. MOTHER-FATHER!@!!!$#@^$@!!! It was after my barrage of swearing that puppy Waldo came and sat beside me. He tilted his head side to side trying to figure out what I was doing. Lucy bolted for a hiding place. Obviously the sky was falling.
I felt pain. The back of my head hurt. My right foot hurt. My left foot hurt. Pain was GREAT! I wasn’t dead! Then hysteria kicked in and I laughed and laughed and laughed so hard the tears came out of my eyes. I might have even peed myself a little. So then I called Wiseguy to tell him the fascinating near death experience I had. I could hear him shaking his head through the phone.
Over the next few hours my delightful feet became a living rainbow. My one inch bruise on the top of my foot became a swollen kaleidoscope of different bruised hues: red, blue, yellow, even a nasty shade of purple. It spread like lava til it reached the tips of my toes. Then I discovered a bump on my shin. The bruising kept leaching over my body. That was fine. I WAS ALIVE! I had fallen and I had managed to get up.
I learned a valuable lesson that day: Teach your dog to dial 911 for emergency services.
Haha! Nope. That wasn’t it, but not a bad idea.
I learned that I need to have patience. If Wiseguy says he is gonna do something, like inflate an exercise ball, then let him do it. It might take a week, 10 days, 10 months, but I’ll live longer, and less bruised, if I follow this advice.