Plop! Biff! Smack! These are the sounds of my life
Naming me “Grace” would have been my parents’ most ironic vengeance against the world.My knees, shins, forearms, elbows, hands and even head carry scars of battle my clumsiness has waged against inanimate objects, small animals and above all, gravity.Thus, anyone can see why I’ve never been all that athletically inclined. I’ve tried running, but I fall down a lot. With tee-ball, I could never quite make contact with the ball, and when I did, I usually let go of the bat mid-swing, allowing it to go hurtling into the stands. I even lost a shoe once when just walking across a park. It sunk into a muddy pit.After my third head injury as a child, I even had a doctor point out on an X-ray that I have an abnormally thick skull (insert jokes here), which was definitely a good preventative measure.
I thought an increase in altitude by moving to the High Country might have some positive effect on my clumsiness. But after more than a year here, I think I can safely say no such luck, which was further proven to me on a recent fly-fishing venture.The beautiful, warm weekends are getting fewer, so I opted to head to a lake with my husband last Sunday to see if I could hook my first fish. I had practiced casting in my driveway, so I thought I was already ahead of the game. Upon finally getting to the water (I tripped twice along the way), I took my first cast. Back and forward and back and ahhhh! The line, fly and hook came hurling back toward my face.”Don’t move,” my husband, Brian, instructed.”Did it get me?!” I asked, eyes securely shut.
“You would have felt it,” he said.That’s true, I reasoned with myself, eyes still shut. I opened them to see Brian untangling the line from the tall grass in between my feet.I then let Brian stand behind me to cast the line, so I could learn the proper motion. When he cast the fly into the lake, I pitched forward, getting my shoes and jeans wet and almost landing face-first in the frigid water. Twenty minutes, nine failed casts, two lost flies and one small head injury later, I was done.While Brian fished, I sat on the bank and skipped stones. Well, actually I skipped two stones; the rest landed with a plop in the lake or never even made it to the water at all. A couple actually landed behind me somehow.
So, I won’t ever play professional – or even amateur – sports or be a good fly-fisherwoman, and I may not even be able to walk down the sidewalk without at least stumbling. But it hasn’t eliminated my desire to try new things or broken my spirit of adventure – or even a bone – yet.Here’s hoping I continue to be hard-headed and open-minded.Jennifer Harper’s column runs on Wednesdays. She can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 248, or at email@example.com.
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