I need to not only learn how to walk but how to stand.

I don’t mean that metaphorically because I’m living on my own for the first time. I mean that literally because I’ve fallen twice over the course of one week. The first time I was walking to my car, the second was in the shower. (Yup, in the shower.)

The clumsiness isn’t anything new. I’ve always been a little less coordinated than most people. It’s one of the reasons I get upset about people leaving shoes in the middle of the floor because I know I will actually trip over them, especially if it’s the middle of the night, dark and I’m on my way to the kitchen to feed Cosmo.

I wouldn’t say my clumsiness is notorious – that’s my lateness. No, my clumsiness is just clumsy enough that only the people closest to me may catch onto it. A lot of it happens when I’m alone.

Take the other day when I was walking to my car after work. There weren’t any parking spots in our lot earlier in the day (it’s one of the most poorly designed parking lots I’ve ever seen and in no way serves the building’s capacity), so I parallel parked on the street.

By that I mean Soscol Avenue.

So, I’m walking through the parking lot, over the muddy ground separating the sidewalk from the street, and as I step off the curb – BAM. I’m down.

Luckily I took jiu-jitsu for a semester in college and learned how to fall. I still bruised my knee and scraped my hands, but avoided hurting anywhere else, including my face. Still, I sat on the ground embarrassed. I quickly got up realizing that cars were continually passing by me and it was only a matter of time before a coworker or even a bicyclist would see me. I hustled into my car and started to decompress.

I couldn’t believe I had just fallen. I’m an adult. Adults don’t start falling until they’re in their sixties, what is wrong with me? If I had fallen a few feet farther, I could’ve been run over!

I looked around to make sure no one was staring at me and checked my knee. I had ripped my jeans, but it didn’t seem like it was going to start bleeding. I even stopped at Walmart on the way home and could walk without a hobble. I was in the clear – no one else would know.

Less than a week later, though, it happened again. This time was even more embarrassing despite the fact that there were fewer potential witnesses.

I was in the shower – I think I was almost done and just about to rinse off when I slipped, spun around, fell under the shower curtain and out of the bathtub. My legs were up in the air over the edge of the tub covered by the pink and white shower curtain and I was on my back. I had landed perfectly onto my bathmat. (The bathmat has skulls on it – I’m glad mine wasn’t added to its design.)

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And thank goodness I did because the other option was cracking my head on the toilet bowl. Fun? I don’t think so.

My swirl out of the shower, though, did make me feel like I had just taken some wild ride. I got back in the shower and started laughing at myself for the next few minutes.

Really? Two times in one week? This is ridiculous, borderline unbelievable. What is wrong with me?

The next morning I realized that I had added to my injuries: muscle pains in my lower back, right shoulder and neck as well as a nicked elbow and what looks like a burst blood vessel and a bruise on my upper thigh. Recovery would definitely involve some hobbling.

Needless to say I bought a non-slip mat for inside the tub. Here’s hoping!

Maria Sestito is the Napa Valley Register public safety reporter. Jersey Girl runs every other Sunday. Follow her on Twitter at @RiaSestito or email her at msestito@napanews.com.


Public Safety Reporter

Maria Sestito is the Napa Valley Register public safety reporter. She covers breaking news as well as crime and courts. Maria came to the Napa Valley Register in 2015 after working at as a reporter and photographer at The Daily News in Jacksonville, NC. S