Awkward Laughter

Because most things in life are humorous, even when they shouldn't be

The Art of Doing a Header


If you read that headline and thought this would be about sex, get your mind out of the gutter. If you thought it was about graphic design, sorry, I can’t help you. This is story about falling and other not-so-graceful feats of klutziness – my expertise.

I bump into walls, desks and anything shin-level so frequently that you could play a challenging game of connect the dots with the bruises on my body. And in the last decade alone, I’ve survived at least five headers down flights of stairs. You could say it’s just the way I roll (or tumble).

So my mother wasn’t surprised when, while we chatted by phone three days ago, she heard me cry out followed by a loud thud – all-too-familiar sounds of me wiping out Jeremy-Abbott style.

But unlike Abbott, I wasn’t attempting a difficult jump on ice, and I didn’t rise with dignity and complete the rest of an inspiring performance. Instead, I cursed my aptly named cat Scooter for stepping under foot, scrambled for my phone, and told my mom we’d have to talk later.

This proclivity for clumsiness is undoubtedly why those who know me best shuddered, a few years back, when I signed up for the Superhero Scramble, a 4-mile obstacle-course race. I love adrenaline and needed motivation to get back in the gym. Seemed like a good idea to me.

“But, Kim, dear. What about all your spills down the stairs?” Mom pleaded.

“What about the fact that I escaped all of those without only a few bruises and no broken bones?” I countered. “I’ll be fine.”

Inside, doubt crept in. I could barely run a quarter-mile without passing out and upper-body strength was non-existent. Facing a series of 20+ physically demanding obstacles intimidated me more than I cared to admit.

Still, I recruited my sister and four friends, downloaded a “Couch Potato to 5K” app, and started training. Two months later, event day arrived.


Memories of past accidents flowed through my mind as we waited near the start line. “You’re an idiot!” screamed my common sense. But before I could seriously consider backing out, we were off.

What followed was one of the most entertaining and exhilarating days of my life!

Despite my fear of heights and lack of coordination, I tackled and completed every challenge. Well, sort of. Technically a stranger hoisted me up the last few feet of the final obstacle, but that still counts, right?

I stumbled, slipped and fell a few times along the way, but I walked away pretty much injury-free and gained a new confidence in my athletic ability. In fact, I’ve since completed numerous 5Ks and added a 10K to my list of accomplishments this past fall.

Not bad for a gal nicknamed Klutzy Kim. Now, if I could just master walking in my living room, life would be grand (or at least less painful).

(This post was inspired, in part, by the Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon. “What giant step did you take where you hoped your leg wouldn’t break? Was it worth it, were you successful in walking on the moon, or did your leg break?”)

19 thoughts on “The Art of Doing a Header

  1. I am happy to read it. Have a beautiful day 🙂


  2. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

  3. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon | The Wandering Poet

  4. Pingback: Daily Prompt Catch-up: Walking on the Moon | Incidents of a Dysfunctional Spraffer

  5. That looks like amazing fun! And I’m a stumbler, too. I rarely fall, but I stumble all the time!


  6. That looks like so much fun! The kind of fun I would definitely rather watch than experience first hand. Or first-head.


  7. I think I see your problem here. Perhaps you need to throw a few tires on the living room carpet, maybe install a rope climb or alligator pit. 😉

    That does really look like a fun way to motivate yourself to get fit though.


  8. I admire you for doing that! I am athletic but that doesn’t appeal to me at all. I did break my foot two years ago tripping down the two steps to my garage though. So for me, it would probably be too dangerous.


    • Ouch! Other than a cracked rib, I’ve somehow avoided bone breaks. I don’t know if I’ll ever do another obstacle course race, but I certainly enjoy running-only events. Thanks for sharing!


  9. That looks really challenging and fun! I’m a klutz, can’t stand for things under my feet – that cat would have worn out her welcome ages ago in my house! ;^)


  10. That looks awesome! I’ve always wanted to try an obstacle course style race, but, given my complete and utter lack of athleticism, I’ve been too chicken.


    • You should give it a shot. Recruit some friends, train together and then give it a go. We had a blast together despite the fact that each of us was at a different level of physical fitness. 🙂


  11. That looks like a blast! Congratulations! I did the Rugged Maniac once–lots of bruises and lots of fun.


    • Perhaps it’s just my perspective, but I’m pretty sure Rugged Maniac is way more intense than the Superhero Scramble. Really impressive that you conquered that one!


Awkward responses welcome

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s