Last Wednesday, I took a hard but fast spill that jolted my being and got me thinking about the realities of the world. The fall itself took less than a few seconds, but I am still reflecting well on the lessons I learned from it.  I was walking to the subway on West on 96th Street in New York City with my friend Joe.  That is my standard method of getting to work in the morning. I felt in my pocket to see if I had brought my glasses and realized that I had not. Just when I was about to get irritated that I had not remembered my glasses, I slipped in a major way. If you have ever seen the Peanuts comics where Lucy pulls away the ball before Charlie Brown has the chance to kick it, you will know exactly how I

I landed directly on my back, and hit everything from my head straight down to the back of my feet. It wasn’t too long after I fell that I realized that it didn’t hurt nearly as much as I thought it would. I picked up my hand that I had thrown down as I fell and noticed that it only had a very small superficial scratch on it. I felt a small stinging in my elbow but nothing else.

While we were on the train, I noticed that the local train seemed to be going about the same speed as us. It didn’t bother me at all. Normally something like that would have gotten me a bit upset, like an upside down lock. Mind you, I wouldn’t quite get as upset as, say, the Incredible Hulk — but it would still grate just a bit.

I realized on a conscious level that it was a direct result of the fall and the subsequent realization that I had barely gotten a scratch from the fall. I thought about all of the different times I have read about people who have fallen on ice and were partially paralyzed for life, or they escapes with “merely” broken bones — which then took months to heal and how they never fully recovered because the body part didn’t quite ever live up to its former glory — after the accident.

Sometimes it takes a little fall to make us realize exactly how much we have, and how lucky we are to have it. Is it worth the run for the train if you end up with a life long injury as a result of the run?

Let us approach this new year of 2009 thinking not only of the good tidings we hope to get in our newly blue world, but of the ways in which we are quite fortunate to have what we have — functioning bones and all.


  1. Hi Gordon,
    Sorry to hear about your fall but the reflective part is really interesting!
    We have a tendency to take things for granted till we lose it…
    Glad to know you are still in one piece!
    Of course we can wish you a very happy new year!

  2. I love the article, Gordon! I love it when you do dangerous things and then write about them so humorously.
    Robbie Knievel made a daredevil jump last night on live TV:,0,1421355.story
    He said London is next to jump the 16 buses his father missed and then he will have done every jump of his father except for Snake River. He will retire in 2009 without doing the final rocket jump.
    So… there’s an opportunity for you in 2009… will you be traveling to Idaho to make rocket-jumping history?
    It would make a great article!

  3. OUCH – I would have been very bruised – I was the last time I fell in similar circumstances.
    I love your philosophical take on it as well – what a great attitude to take forward into next year.

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