I went for a night run the other day and in the 5 mile time span I managed to awkwardly trip and nearly sprain my ankle a total of 4 times which for those keeping track averages to almost 1 trip per mile. Based off all of the red flags before and during the run I should have known that I was in store for an absolutely horrible performance. There is literally nothing more mortifying than tripping, almost falling, and then the tactic you choose in which you attempt to recover from it.
The circumstances were just off from the beginning for this little outing. It was the first melt your face off cold night and I spent almost 20 minutes avoiding head on collisions while searching for a parking spot. I finally found a spot that I have decided was only half legal to park at because it wasn't a snow emergency or the hours of 2-4 and 3-7, but no parking if there were leaves on the ground, you drove a red car, or owned a steering wheel cover. I figured there was a 50\50 chance it would still be there when I got back, and in Clifton those are great odds.
I also realized that I have no idea how to deal with cold weather. I was insanely overdressed with two base layers with reflective warming capabilities and the thickest 100% cotton sweat producing hoodie I owned. Add in gloves with fingers slots twice as long as my actual fingers, and a Velcro arm band that kept sticking to and fraying everything I was wearing.
I took two steps and instantly was trapped in a furnace like body suit of heat. My face felt frozen solid which means my nose was dripping like a faucet., so overall it was an attractive site.
Whenever I turned to look for cars while crossing roads my hood would blow across my face like a convenient blindfold which only added to how ridiculous it all looked. Then as I stepped for the sidewalk mid cross, the blindfold activated and my foot found the only pothole for a mile and sent me into a mid collapse recovery hop-ish looking jog across the street.
From here there are a few ways to deal and it can make or break the amount of shame you are forced to endure. Whether you face planted on the treadmill or your ankle gave out you have options.
Deny: literally act like it didn't happen. The passive aggressor's comfort zone. This is what I went with...
I shrugged it off and sprinted ahead to make some distance between me and the crowd of witnesses only to get stopped at the crosswalk by whizzing traffic. Was it just me or did everyone eying me while turning left seem to know what just happened? This tactic has a way of backfiring and forcing you to acknowledge your actions for prolonged red lights.
Blame: this guy at the gym was stomping on the treadmill obnoxiously loud to alert everyone in the room at he was running 10 mph. Naturally he looked around and ended up getting some face time with the floor. He stood up and got dramatically upset "fu@%#+g piece of $h*t" (storms away). Okay Protein, while this may help expel how awesomely dumb you are feeling it is way off putting to everyone in the area and leads to it being relived by others (like right now) for years to come.
Laugh: I avoid this because nervous laughter makes me uncomfortable. But the best part of this is that if you start laughing everyone else who is already laughing at what just happened is deterred by your willingness to embrace the situation; therefore turning a loss into a win.
Somehow despite this train wreck of a run the car was still there and I was left with a greater understanding of how to manage the shames of cold weather running. Lesson learned, no blindfolds from now on.