Manhattan(2), a shin and a racing chair

Rushing. To Utah. Tired. A little slow from an evening liver symposium. Forgot my phone, my right shoe and left my coffee cup on the top of my car.  Off a little.  Spinning on some unusual behavior of mine the day before – how I am acting like I am not.  A little freaked out by something I did.   Pointing my finger at myself in my head .. chastising.     My self-critic alive and well.

That kind of morning.

I stop at the coffee shop AGAIN to get another cup of coffee and somehow (don’t judge me) I slammed my SHIN in my car door. Now, you gotta think about that one for a while. Really? Is this actually possible that a person would get out of their car, step to the side just enough, but not enough, and slam their shin in the car door?

Um. Yes. It is true and it was embarrassing. The smokers outside the coffee shop looked at me like I was driving a 1917 Traub or something. And not in a good way if you get my drift. I imagine I let out a cry or something, not really sure because it HURT SO BAD I wanted to pass out.

I hobble into the coffee shop and I notice I am bleeding profusely… two giant egg size welts have perked up to say hello.. oh, and I am in 4-inch heels and OF COURSE a skirt. F.

The coffee helps. I limp to my car. The airport. No time to change clothes to hide the welts. Then I think, EH PIFFLE! I’m a woman over the age of 40 – no one is going to notice my legs anyway. It is totally fine.. just keep moving… …I am speaking in front of a room for of humans in Utah yes, and they won’t even notice the eggplants on my gams.

Security guy. As I walk up, well, limp up yells out, “OH MY GOD, WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR LEG?!?!?!??”

My face is red.  Everyone in the line is looking at me like I’m Pamela Anderson in a 3D scanner post surgery after the surgery…. it wasn’t good.   I realize I am not going to tell ANYONE about the car slamming thing. It is just too ridiculous and dumb.  He waits for an answer.   I’m red…. and.. um… er….

I say:  “That isn’t my real weight on my driver’s license.”   He laughs- hard.   I walk away.  Thank god I always have humor to distract….that is acting like me.  😉

After my presentation in Utah.. I’m RACING to get the 5:07 flight. I have 20 minutes to get to the gate. I take my heels off and start running… limp running.. I’m in pain.  I don’t care.  The next flight is at 9pm…. SLT airport is long.   My gate (of course) at the end. I run alongside the moving walk way FAST and a wonderful soul pushing an empty wheelchair. He runs along side me and yells “GET ON … I”ll get you there!!!”

He runs along side me for a minute and I hesitate. “Ha ha… you couldn’t push me faster than I can run…”

“HEY.. I medaled in UT Track baby… GET ON!”

“Oh, nah,  (pant pant hypervenilate run) that (Wheeze)  is okay(pant)…”

“LADY GET ON !!!”

I do.

It is absolutely side splitting. We are racing around to my gate.. he’s making all these crazy emergency announcements and swerving … I keep looking up at him and he is laughing so hard as he runs.  Me too.  Total bliss.

He dumps me at the gate. I make it. We high five. And then we just stand there for a minute.. looking at each other and laughing out loud.  The man is sweating profusely and can barely breathe… I can’t breathe.  The entire lobby is looking at us like we are insane.  We realize what a spectacle we are and laugh some more.

It is just one of those precious moments that make me believe our world is a beautiful place.

Did I have that fabulous moment that I will remember my entire life because I hit my shin?  Was it my limp that made him ask if he could help?  Did I hit my shin because I was out of my body thinking about the thing I did that wasn’t like me that freaks me out?    I dunno.  I’d like to believe that it all is beautiful once we know the whole story.  All these moments knit loosely around to make a life.  Even the ones where we feel bad, ashamed or hurt.   When we make a mistake or do something in a moment that isn’t fair or right.  If we just give it a minute, forgive and be who we are……

and, here is the thing.  I almost didn’t get in that chair.   I almost let that chair roll on by and stayed running and limping and NOT being me.   Another example of me not being me.   I like to play.  I gotta play more often. I have gotten WAY too serious….

Yes.  I have been acting in ways that are just not me.  Why?   I do not know.   What I do know is play and fun and being unapologetic for the strange ways I need to be in the world to feel safe and happy don’t work for everyone.

The real person is far more interesting than anything we can fabricate.  When we can all lighten up on all the ways we are supposed to be… be who we are..  and be kind to ourselves when we mess up… and just get on a moving chair once in a while….

I arrived home at 7pm to my cat and an empty house.  Alone, something I rarely ever am in my own home.  Had a magical evening of a quarter moon, painting,  and a midnight walk. .. the limp gone completely.

Thanks running chair man,  (he asked me not to use his real name) you gave me more than a lift.

5 Replies to “Manhattan(2), a shin and a racing chair”

  1. Interestingly enough, I have also been feeling a bit odd lately, but I wouldn’t say I’ve been a klutz 🙂

    Hi! My name is Mario, and I’m a college junior studying Computer Science at UMass Amherst. Ever since reading your book, “Your Professionalism is Killing You” during the summer when working 40 hours a week and practicing and gigging with a friend-formed A Cappella group just wasn’t enough time, I have been paying much more attention to how I communicate with different people in my life.

    Now, theoretically older and wiser (I hope), I have learned so much about listening to what the person in front of you has to say. The opposite is true too; I think about how to deliver my thoughts in a way that makes sense to the interviewer, professor, brother, or Dad. When public speaking opportunities come up like a poster showcase at the New England Undergraduate Computing Symposium (NEUCS) next Saturday, I feel the need to pull out your book and read through some inspiring words. Thank you for that.

    Your blog is totally interesting, and it’s really nice to read about the funny, witty, and emotional situations in your life. It makes me relate to mine, and think about how I can approach every day optimistically and thinking out loud about ways in which I can handle scenarios of my own.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing! I have a blog too: mbarrenecheajr.wordpress.com.

    Cheers!
    Mario B.

  2. Yay! Did you wake up this morning and think, “Hey, I’m going to make Christina’s day today.” Cuz you did. Funny thing, after writing this post I hesitated. … thinking…. should..I … be… so .. transparent? Thanks for the nod.

    You are awesome Mario B. I’ll make sure to check out your blog tomorrow when I’m not bleary eyed from wine and chocolate. nite.

  3. Christina,

    Could the shinberger have simply been your internal compass knowing that you needed a bit of a thump to wake you up to who you have been and who you needed to get back to? The good news is that shinbergers only hurt for about 6 months.

    Thanks for making my day with such a Chistina like tale! I trust you are back to being the real you, and that’s a gift for those who know you, and track stars from Utah as well.

    Stay well.

    JH

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *