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A Fall into Grace


It was like being rescued by a pair of Amazons.

Sometimes a seeming disaster can turn into a blessing. I’m thinking of the fall I took on New Year’s Day that fractured my ankle.

Just a few hours before the accident, I had bid my holiday guests goodbye. After fluffing up the house, I changed into Santa Fe party casual and headed out for an open house. I had never before visited the home of one of the hostesses, and within a few feet of the front door, I lost my balance on a shallow step, raking my hand on the rough wall as I sprawled on the floor.

The bemused guests continued to sip wine as I rubbed my ankle and contended with shock and embarrassment. I felt awkward and old and alone. The end had begun.

As my hostess, Vickie, rushed forward, I noted how erect, confident, and fit she looked in trim jeans and sweater. Vickie asked Toni, a friend standing nearby, to stay with me while she went to get hydrogen peroxide for my bleeding hand. Toni is tall and also has beautiful carriage. In exchanging pleasantries, I learned that she and Vickie had become friends working out at the same fitness center. Even as they helped me to my feet, I was thinking “I’m going to be doing whatever you two are doing.”

In fact, I signed up at Carl and Sandra’s Conditioning Center five days later and have been working out three times a week ever since. I was in a boot and on crutches in the beginning, and there were other people in recovery from various injuries. I have never seen such an array of equipment or so many options for increasing strength, agility and balance. And then there are the people like Toni who are training in Olympic-style weightlifting.

Everyone’s exercise routine is continually upgraded to ensure a steady advance in ability. Carl and Sandra’s is family-owned, and family members are always around, offering encouragement and suggestions.

I was told that the exercises I was given would accelerate my own healing and that proved to be true. My podiatrist seemed genuinely amazed at my last appointment. “You don’t know how this usually goes,” he said, “but on a scale of 1 to 10, I’m giving you an 11.” Carl calls me “the poster child.”

I was also told that the workouts would strengthen my core, as they put it. That came in very handy during debate with other jurors when I served in a death penalty trial in April and May. The psychic benefit of feeling strong and fit is enormous, and I have just begun.

That accident on New Year’s Day was a blessing—but only because of the two women who came to my aid. It was like being rescued by a pair of Amazons. I now have a better understanding of the concept of grace.

And this isn’t the end of the story. A fork in the road seemed to manifest as I lay on the floor. Perhaps because of the path I chose, related opportunities are coming in. One of them will be the subject of my next post.




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