For years there was a car dealership somewhere on South Sixth in Tucson that touted itself as being “Ugly but honest.” Whenever I drove past, seeing that sign always made me chuckle. And it’s in that spirit that I write these words today.
People who read this blog inevitably learn about me and my personal foibles, to wit: They know that once I start writing a book eventually I will finish writing said book. They know that I go on tour twice a year and usually share touring adventures with my blog readers. They know that I have a propensity to fall and have done so in many countries on several continents. They know that I’ve been walking—seriously walking—for months now and losing weight.
Today’s missive has to do with the last two items—namely falling and walking, and not necessarily in that order.
Bill and I started our walking regime at the end of April. My daily average is 9978 steps, for seven months, which brings me to a grand total somewhere well over 2,000,000 steps. That’s a lot of steps. To begin with, I walked in sandals. I’m a sandals kind of girl, and I had been wearing Clarks sandals on a daily basis, summer and winter, for years. Still do on occasion. But within a couple of weeks I could feel that the soles of my feet were not happy, causing me to realize that walking 10,000 steps most days meant I needed more support downstairs.
I do not like buying shoes. In fact, I have hated buying shoes ever since a short-timer shoe salesman at Ortega’s Shoes in Lowell, Arizona, told me—a sixteen year-old girl with large feet and a very tender ego—that my feet were like “gunboats.” Thank you so much. In fact, I’m surprised a rude shoe salesman hasn’t ended up dead in one of my books. Now that I think of it, one probably will be, but I digress.
Sometime in May I went shoe shopping and came home with my first ever pair of Sketchers rubber soled walking shoes. And I’ve worn them ever since. In fact, I’ve gone through two pair since then. I believe I can say with some authority that a single pair of Sketchers walking shoes is good for at least a million steps.
We’re in Seattle right now where it’s been cold, rainy, and wet. I often walk on what I refer to as our “running track,” which is the flat driveway out in front of our house. I have a three part route that’s good for 157 steps per circuit, and I can get up a pretty good head of steam, walking in long flat circles. Night before last, however, walking towards what would have been sunset had the sun been visible, I realized that the pavement was starting to ice over a little. Not wanting to risk a fall, I came inside to finish my steps—and ended up falling flat on my face.
Here’s a word of warning for any of my readers who may be following in my … well … footsteps. Do NOT use your rubber soled walking shoes on hardwood floors because guess what? They may stick! As for what happens when your shoes stick and your body does not? That’s when the human body has a tendency to become airborne.
It’s sheer coincidence that I happened to be wearing my brand new Wonder Woman tee-shirt when I attempted to fly. I shot like a bullet through the open bedroom doorway, clipping the right side of my cheek on the door jamb as I flew by. I landed face down on the carpeted floor—thankfully something much more forgiving than either the pavement or the hardwood floor would have been.
For months now, our personal trainer has had us down on the floor doing an exercise he calls, “I’ve fallen and I CAN get up.” He told us that if you fall, the first thing you should do is lie still long enough to figure out if anything is broken or if you’re bleeding. Then, once you do that, you go about getting yourself up. If you need to scoot over to a piece of furniture to facilitate that process, so be it!
So that’s what I did. I lay there long enough to ascertain that I wasn’t hurt. I put my hearing aids back in my head. I put my glasses back ON my head. At the time, I didn’t realize I had broken the silver chain on my necklace. (It’s in the bedroom somewhere, obviously, but we have yet to find it. When something went missing like that back home in Bisbee, my mother would always say, “We’ll find it when we sweep.” This time around not even a serious case of vacuuming has turned the missing chain back up.)
And then, after determining that I wasn’t seriously hurt, I hobbled out to the kitchen and asked Bill, who was cooking dinner at the time, to please pass me a couple of bags of frozen vegetables—corn and petite white onions. The package of frozen onions went on the back of my left hand where the three middle fingers appear to be wearing a gray colored glove. The bag of frozen corn went on my cheek.
I now have a doozy of a black eye. Two days later, the bruising runs from my eyebrow to the bottom of my nose. I am NOT including a photograph. For one thing, it would frighten small children. For another, it would immediately go viral like some of those celebrity mug shots have done in the past. So don’t ask for a visual here. Use your imagination.
At first I thought I didn’t have any public appearances coming up in the near future, but it turns out that’s not true. On Saturday of this week I have an author-under-glass luncheon that was purchased from a local charity auction. I thought about putting it off, but changed my mind.
They’ll have to take me the way I am—ugly but honest.