Yes, I am a klutz. I fall up going up the stairs. I fall going down the stairs. I tend to trip over things that that don’t even exist. I am bump my hands on the doorframes as I walk through them. I stub my toes on furniture, walls, doors, and sometimes even my own feet! I spill coffee on myself at the most inopportune moments, and I frequently wear remnants of my meals on my clothing. Yes, I am a klutz, indeed!
When I was a kid, my mom always used to ask if I was saving my meals for later because I tended to spill whatever I was eating on myself before I was finished. I would be the one kid at the table who would spill the glass of Kool-Aid all over everyone else. I was never very coordinated and certainly did not excel at many sports. I was great at gymnastics and anything that required balance. For some reason, I could do those things, but when it came to throwing a ball, hitting a ball, or catching a ball, forget it! I would either miss completely or manage to hurt myself or somebody else in the process. I am the only person I know who ever got a concussion from playing badminton. Seriously? Who does that?
I was always the kid that everyone made fun of, not just because of my funky clothes and jewelry, but often because of my klutziness. Dropping books, spilling things, and running into people or inanimate objects was my norm. I always kept my head down and tried not to cry when others made fun of me. I tried my best to ignore the taunts and jabs. I tried to ignore the mean, hateful things that kids tend to say to other kids (mostly to make themselves feel better for their own inadequacies). My parents always said I would “outgrow” my klutziness eventually. Little did they know that not much would change.
As an adult, my klutziness continues. I often have cuts, scrapes, and more bruises than I can count. I bump into things…. frequently. I cut myself chopping vegetables and fruit. I burn myself when I bake and cook. I spill coffee on my shirt several times a week (and often when I am headed to some important meeting or presentation). I still trip on steps, cracks in the sidewalk, or just on my own feet. Outgrowing it still hasn’t come yet.
I have, however, learned to adjust. I laugh at my own klutziness and find humor in everything, even when I do really hurt myself in the process. I take precautions now and have learned that white shirts and pants have no place in my wardrobe. Shirts with patterns, and pants with stain guard help my clothes stay cleaner. I carry tote bags to contain things so I don’t drop them as I move things from one area to the next. I make sure my furniture is strategically placed so I have a wide-open space to walk through. I cope. I manage. And when I get hurt, I heal!
I have learned to become more “athletic” by doing things like weight training, running, hiking, swimming, scuba diving, and sometimes biking. Balance is still my forte, so yoga is a wonderful outlet for me and has increased my strength and my awareness of space around me. I have learned to watch where I walk. I have learned that I am predominantly a thinker and am often lost in my own little world of randomness. This distracts me from paying attention to where I am walking and things that are around me. I have even challenged myself in the last year by running not one, but two, mud-run obstacle races. I have my third one coming up in a couple of months. If I can do that, I can do anything!
So, if you happen to be another klutzy person out there, please know that you are not alone! I am convinced that there are droves of us out here; some are just better at hiding their klutziness than others! We are the thinkers and dreamers that make things happen. We are the ones who stick up for the little guy and defend the victims of bullying. We are the goal setters that are determined to achieve and overcome obstacles! When we set our minds to it, it will not only happen, but it will happen with greatness! We need to band together! We need to unite! We need to let others know that there are more of us out there! We need to stick together and let others know that they should not be ashamed of being a klutz! Be proud! Stand tall! And always, always watch where you’re going!