TCDSANI EC064I am a klutz.  Been that way since the crib.  Literally launched myself out of my crib at a year old landing on a parquet wooden floor smashing my face and getting my very first (of a few) concussions… it was the beginning of my lifelong career of tripping on air and knocking things over…  I’m Dennis the Menace meets Mary Catherine Gallagher’s “Superstar” complete with chair crashing skills and destroying perfectly placed product displays in stores and malls.  Pretty sad I know but I’m happy that I’ve perpetually provided friends, fam and foe a well-stocked library of hilarious remember when Rose crashed moments and of course… my Mother’s beloved face palm reactions to such events…

Now that you have this knowledge, you can begin to visualize the mayhem that ensued over the years I’ve been in a gym atmosphere.

One shining moment was in fact in gym class, Junior year… 1992.  Mr. C our teacher thought it be a splendid idea to parlay actual gymnastic activities into the lesson complete with a vault and that launching spring thing.  We were going to learn how to do a basic “jump” off of it.   I was elated.  You see, once upon a time after viewing the made for TV movie “Nadia” in 1984 I became completely obsessed with Nadia Comaneci and all things gymnastics.  I would reenact scenes in the living room and attempt cartwheels and all sorts of moves only to take out numerous Lenox figurines on my parents wooden encased Zenith TV.  Despite the porcelain massacre and 87 black and blues,  I prevailed in my imaginary sessions with the one and only Bela Karolyi.   Fitting that same year was the year of the one and only Mary Lou Retton, who I was disturbingly jealous of.  She was trained by Bela FOR REAL.  Whatev Mary Lou.  WHATEV.

Anyway, the sight of that gym equipment in my high school gym awoke that nine-year old Nadia wannabe and I was ready.  All we had to do, all we were ALLOWED to do I should say is real fast… jump on the launching thing and just “touch” the top of the vault table.  That’s it.  Mr.  C. CLEARLY yelled… do NOT jump over it.  Just touch it.  THAT IS IT.

I had other plans.

When it was my turn I launched into full Mary Lou speed and jumped with every ounce of strength in my LA Gears on that spring-board and attempted a hurdle over.  My legs never saw the other side.  For a brief moment I saw black and felt a stinging pain across my Mandees issued sports bra that was enough to make me lose my breath.  When I looked up I was a good distance away from the board which made it quite obvious as I observed the aftermath that I bounced off  BIG TIME.    Before Mr. C had a minute to rush over to see if I was alive, he literally couldn’t breath… from laughing.  He didn’t even get to laughing stage it was that air laugh before you find breath.  Seconds later I would find my breath again only to laugh so hard I felt my ribs pulsating in agony. Thankfully only bruised ribs and not broken.   It was the greatest dismount in the history of my klutz career.  So after that experience I knew that me PLUS gym equipment EQUALS bad.

Sure I had joined gyms over the years, sometimes I tackled the person in front of me during a step class.  Sometimes I ended up on the back-end of a treadmill belt being slammed into a wall (way before the YouTube videos existed) but no matter, I never broke a bone or caused major damage to equipment.  However, the anxiety of knowing my ability to crash or trip around such equipment grew over time.

Cut to January 2016…when I entered my current gym.    At first, I was in a state of shock that I found the courage to commit to exercise, never mind changing the way I ate… but to make a solid covenant WITH A TRAINER to actually WORK OUT… in a PUBLIC SETTING… WAS A FUCKING MIRACLE.  Forget about the laziness, forget about the fact that I never truly exercised in well over 15 years… I was fixated on that dark inner voice in my head whispering ever so gently “THIS IS YOUR INNER KLUTZGIRL…YOU KNOW YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE A TOTAL ASS CLOWN OUT OF YOURSELF IN FRONT OF EVERYONE IN THIS PLACE” .. .  She knew me so well.  I became so hyper aware of my surroundings that when I first walked into my very first training session I developed this level of focus that was foreign to me.  I kept repeating the mantra… “I’M NOT GONNA TRIP. PLEASE DON’T TRIP. NOT GONNA FALL…” So each time I would walk from one area to the other, I would be laser focused on my feet and not tripping over them or something or even a person. With me the possibilities are endless.  I can say with all honesty, I have yet to crash in front of anyone and I’ve been there for nearly fourteen months.  This is a miraculous fact. Although I did nearly lose it on the treadmill last week while watching the finale of Stranger Things (Thank you Demogorgon) I saved myself before anyone noticed.  I have to say.. I’m proud.. I’m sure Mr. C would be too.

So as far my current klutz status in the gym, I give myself a perfect 10…. Nadia style.