Adventures of an Accident-Prone Author

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My family was not surprised to hear this, but I hurt myself while riding my bike recently. I recently got a new bike, you see – a bike that I would call my first “proper” bike. Not that I haven’t had bikes my whole life, but this is the first time I actually did research, read reviews, then saved up to buy it instead of just going to the nearest megastore and picking a low-end bike that “looks nice.”

It was a big deal for me, and especially with the extra anticipation building during the “saving up” period I was super-excited to get it.

So of course I hurt myself within a week.

Again, this came as no shock to my family. I have a reputation, you see, for getting hurt in bizarre and unusual ways. “Only you” is the usual response when I tell my tales of woe.

This particular bike-related owie fell pretty high up on the “I can’t believe I just did that” meter, especially since it only happened because I was trying to stay safe.

I had been riding all around my neighborhood and nearby areas for maybe a half hour when a garbage truck appeared. I could quite easily have kept pedaling, but I decided to be extra safe and pull over to the side to let it pass. As I put my right foot down to support myself, my foot misses the (higher level) grass above the curb and goes down to the (lower level) asphalt.

It was like when you think you’ve finished the steps but you actually still have one step to go. Your foot hangs in midair for a second, and then you freefall from a staggering height of 6 inches, slamming into the floor before you try to recover gracefully but end up loping away like an especially awkward giraffe.

The major wrinkle this time was that all happened sideways. The weight of the bike was leaning into it, too. Put together, it rolled/inverted my ankle, there was a sickening pop, and I ended up trying to prevent further damage by just going with the motion to end up lying on the grass.

Two different people – a nearby neighbor and a lady driving by – were kind enough to call out to see if I was all right. Which I was (apart from the absolute knowledge that I’d be wearing a walking book for the next few weeks).

It was just infuriating, really. Here I am, riding all over the place, no issues whatsoever, but the instant I stop for safety? Catastrophe.

Like I mentioned above, this isn’t anything new. Here are just a few of the myriad insane ways I’ve hurt myself over the years:

  • Got my pinky finger caught under the conveyor belt at airport security
  • Had to get stitches in the back of my head after a game of “Heads Up, Seven Up” (side note: no one’s ever been able to guess how it happened before I explained it to them. I’m curious if anyone here will be able to)
  • The day I got those stitches out, I decided I needed something off the top shelf of my closet. I fell backwards off the chair I was standing on and busted the EXACT SAME SPOT on a nearby dresser, which meant I had to go right back to the doctor I’d just left
  • Pulled the front brake instead of the back when a squirrel ran in front of my scooter on a hill. I flipped off the scooter and slide down the concrete hill on my knees
  • Sprained my ankle doing the Hokey Pokey at a roller-skating rink
  • Got a black eye when I dropped a chair on my face (yes, you read that right. It would take too long to explain)
  • Decided to try a “no hands” AND “no feet” maneuver on my bike, and when I immediately fell over my foot went into the spokes the wheel which turned my leg all the way around and tore up my knee
  • Played a game of “Dodge Pillow” on a full flight of stairs. I made it all the way to the top before my cousin whacked me in the face with a pillow and I rolled all the way back down
  • Was trying to exit a cow field surrounded by barbed wire by climbing over a huge rock next to the fence instead of walking down to the gate. Lost my grip on the way down and instinctively reached out to catch myself, but I grabbed the barbed wire by accident

And those are just the ones that come to mind off the top of my head. I know the instant I post this I’ll remember a dozen more.

It’s a little strange to think that if I put some of these bizarre accidents in my novels that they would come off as “far-fetched” or “not believable.” For me, they’re “just another Thursday.”

What’s the craziest/most ridiculous/most annoying way you’ve hurt yourself? Could you have just kicked yourself afterwards? Would you even have been able to? Tell me about it in the comments below!

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