Bruised but not beaten  

Coleman bike 2016

My steed

Truth is, I’m pretty active and coordinated (you may not believe this, after reading my blog).

My honey and I bicycle and walk, lift weights and stretch.

But we get skinned knees, loosened toenails and muscle aches.

My question: are the scrapes and cuts signs we are too active? Should we cut back?

I have a bruise the size of Africa on my right thigh.

I earned the continent-shaped injury when I fell off my bike.

At least the bike was stationary.

My bike was loaded on the right side (where I have a basket) and I was carrying home groceries.

I’ve polished my shopping skills so that I can stuff the basket to the brim and peddle home hands-free.

Problem is, I had to press the Walk Sign button in order to cross the street, and the burdened bike fell to the right, taking me with it.

The hematoma turned purple and blue, then yellow and green, and is now fading to brown.

I figured I could still wear my summer frock to a September wedding (it should cover the bruise), and as I was fussing in the mirror, I saw a bluish mark that colored my lower arm below the elbow.

Thinking back, I remember walking downtown at my usual brisk pace to get a haircut the week before the wedding, and I tripped over a hunk of sidewalk.

Rather than mimicking a ballerina, I stumbled a few feet like a linebacker before sailing into a plastic sandwich board, punching it in half (it was plastic) and landing on my arms.

A young man rushed over and helped me dust myself off, saying, “They really ought to fix that sidewalk. I see people stumble over that every single day.”

I nodded, tried to find a scrap of dignity, and looked backward at a walkway that looked like what happens when an elevator stops before reaching its floor.

They really ought to fix that.


21 September 2018









About Cynthia Coleman Emery

Professor and researcher at Portland State University who studies science communication, particularly issues that impact American Indians. Dr. Coleman is an enrolled citizen of the Osage Nation.
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