supposed to die

I will never be coordinated and I have the bruises to prove it

bruise collage



























In high school, I was the klutziest girl imaginable. I bruised my knee on the pommel horse. In softball, I managed to swing the bat so that the softball ricocheted back into my own face. When we played round-robin tennis, I was beaten by everyone. Including a girl who had juvenile arthritis and could not even use one of her hands. Including Nancy I., a mainstreamed developmentally disabled girl who had never before beaten anyone in anything. She crowed about it in the halls for weeks afterward. "I beat April Henry! I beat April Henry."

In college, I kept spraining my ankle, one time so bad they casted it. (The cab driver who took me home valiantly offered to carry me up to my second floor apartment, a gesture I think he regretted by the landing.)

Once I started working full time I did exercise most every day, but since I had a job and a kid, it was mostly stuff like 30 minutes on an exercycle. I used to get depressed every fall as the days got shorter, because I knew I wouldn't be able to run before work for months and months.

Now that I work at home, I have the freedom to do whatever I want. I run five miles four times a week. I lift weights. I somehow accidentally got into kung fu and have fallen in love with it. Nothing lasts forever, which is why I take five to seven classes a week, including aspects I thought I would never participate in, like sparring and grappling (really never thought I would do that last one, which, when you're a woman, feels kind of rape-y). It turns out I bruise like a banana. I have fingerprint shaped marks all up and down my arms, and sometimes have to reassure people that yes, "I am safe at home." I pretty much always look bad, but this week, when I tripped on a rock and fell while running and I also had someone roll their knee over my elbow while grappling, I look particularly banged up.

I will never be coordinated. I will probably always flinch when someone tosses me a set of keys. But I'm pretty damn proud of myself for doing things I would never have dreamed of doing. 
I think it's also the freedom to let go of old ideas. Or to embrace who you are and do it anyway!