I had an epiphany today, a stupid one, but an epiphany all the same. Since I am short by American standards (5' 7") I cannot really ever "walk tall", even when I strut with shoulders back (my little tough man walk). If my name was Buford and I had a baseball bat, I'd still not be walking tall.
The old saw, "the bigger they are, the harder they fall", brings me scant comfort. Yes, I realize that being height challenged means it is easier for me to fall, but it also means it should hurt less when I hit the ground. I am here to categorically state that it's not true. It hurts like hell when I hit the ground.
Let me list some examples (for brevity's sake I will skip all the motorcycle crashes) They will be rated on a Loss of Blood Scale of 1-10 (LOB) and a Level of Pain Scale of 1-10 (LOP):
1) Oracle Ridge Trail in 1999 with Mike Jones. He fell in a very technical section. I tried to show him the correct line and crashed even harder than he did (He was pleased). LOB=5, LOP=8
2) Yetman Wash Trail in 1996: Face plant showing Curtis how old fat men can ride. LOB=7, LOP =8 (I got bonus pints for having a bratwurst for an upper lip and making faces at people through the Emergency Room window. "Look at that poor retarded man")
3) Charaleau Gap in 1996: Slow speed fall that shook the mountain. LOB=0, LOP=8.5
4) 24 hour of Old Pueblo course in 2005: Caught a pedal on a rock at full sprint. LOB=5, LOP=9.5. (Bonus points for bruises, cuts and scrapes on front, back and inside of legs and arms. Plus one additional point for losing rectal control when I hit the ground)
5) Upper 50 Year Trail in 2003. Fell and slid down sandstone rock into a gully. Slow speed but I watched the rock peel the skin off my leg as I slowly slid down the hill. LOB=8, LOP=9.5. (Bonus points for Will saying "nice" as he surveyed my damaged leg.)
6) December 15, 2007. 11:00pm approximately. Challenged by Darrell to a foot race after imbibing way too much beer and bourbon. All I remember is I was catching him when my upper body started moving at a much higher speed than my feet. I tried to save it but I couldn't. It registered at least 3.6 on the Richter Scale when I hit the ground in a pile of asphalt gravel. It was the triple crown of falls. Both hands, both knees, both arms and elbows, the nose and forehead were bloodied. LOB=8, LOP=0 (remember, I was hammered, plus I still kicked Dave's butt in a race immediately after).
These are just a few of the many painful moments experienced while not "walking tall". In looking back I have to admit that I have fallen quite a bit riding, but in my defense I only needed stitches three times. In conclusion, it doesn't matter if you walk tall or walk small, it still hurts when you fall.
I was listening to Simon and Garfunkle today. Is there a better song than The Only Living Boy in New York? Best line, "I get all the news I need on the weather report."