Snagging a Gold Medal Fall

Isn’t always easy.

Lisa A. McCombs
3 min readMay 31


Photo by Nathanaël Desmeules on Unsplash

No matter how hard I try, looking graceful in the midst of an unexpected fall is not a thing. At least not for me. Most of the time.

One day last week, I floated delicately to the ground while replacing a lawn lamp. Looking frantically looked around me for a witness, my goal was to prove this theory wrong.

No such luck.No one ever sees the good falls.

My falls tend to be ugly, loud, bloody, and accompanied by a stream of urine. It’s difficult to pass my falls off as an intentional activity.

Dealing with the MonSter’s choreography is scary, but it doesn’t have to be limiting. It takes planning.

Walk softly and carry a big stick (cane, or trekking pole).

President Theodore Roosevelt’s foreign policy, “Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.”

Oh, Teddy, sometimes I go way too far, with or without a big stick.

I’ve tripped over nothing to introduce my forehead to the edge of a stone wall. I designed my own butterfly bandage to staunch the blood flow.

Thorns embedded themselves in my skin after burying my face in a rosebush. This resulted in a painful tweezer session.

I've found myself sprawled across a gravel parking lot. Yet, another tweezer session.

Oh, and there was that time I dropped a pizza in the restaurant parking lot. A concerned citizen rushed to my side to assist me. My biggest worry was the fate of my pizza. The box wasn’t flipped and pepperoni and cheese were intact. Not only was this a happy miracle, but it also won a Bronze in my Olympic count of falls.

I’ve ridden down a set of concrete steps on my behind. For two months I sported an impressive lopsided yoga butt, on just one cheek. I rank this fall an Olympic silver.

The Gold medal moment occurred when I toppled face-first onto the sidewalk outside my house. There was no warning. I wasn’t dizzy. Alcohol was not involved. One second, I was upright. The next I was sucking up my own blood. I wore my trophy of two black eyes and a swollen nose for a while. I’m sure there was a hairline fracture, but I decided to wear any disfiguration as an…



Lisa A. McCombs