I did not look this cool as I worked out/laid on the ground.I recently fell down. Scratch that; I wiped out. I was crossing the street in front of the RiverBender.com building and I tripped — over what, I still couldn’t tell you — and found myself suddenly splayed across the asphalt.

The worst part? There were a few construction workers in the middle of a project nearby, and they saw the whole thing. In fact, they all yelled “OH” as it happened. I do my best work in front of an audience.

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I didn’t just jump back up, either. I am no spring chicken anymore. It took me a second to fully realize what I had just done, and another to pick myself up off the ground. My knees ached for the rest of the day and my hands are still healing from the scrapes I sustained.

No worries, loyal readers: I will be okay. I am tough. I survived. But my ego is bruised, and I am humbled, and it’s a good reminder that humility and a sense of humor will get you through.

This is not the first time I have fallen publicly. There was the rollerskating incident from a few months ago, and anyone from my sixth-grade class can tell you about the Public Fainting Episode of 2012. That’s not to mention my yoga escapades and the many other times I have failed impressively with an audience. This time just hurt a little more, both literally and figuratively.

It also, in complete honesty, rattled me just a bit. At 24, I’m old enough where I’m no longer used to falling down, but young enough where I still expect to bounce back. The fact that I fell and then felt it for a day or two afterwards — well, I didn’t like that.

The lesson I’m learning here is that I need to take better care of myself. If I want to remain active and in good shape, the few laps I take around the park every few days isn’t going to cut it. I need to start a fitness routine of some sort. (How many times have I thought about this and then decided to go back to bed instead? Oh, if I had a nickel…)

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But I mean it this time! And so, armed with my earbuds and a good playlist and a naively optimistic attitude, I turned over a new leaf and hopped on the treadmill.

The first few minutes were fine; I was just warming up. I walked a little faster and then a little faster until I was up to a jogging pace.

At this point, I must offer a shoutout to people who run regularly, because it turns out running is boringggg. Especially when you’re running on a treadmill, going nowhere, it quickly gets old. I managed maybe five minutes of this before I gave up.

Okay, so running wasn’t for me. But I had to do something, so I looked up workouts on YouTube and here is where I found the Holy Grail: dance workouts.

Yup, DIY Zumba, all from the comfort of my living room. I turned on a Broadway workout and got started. And amidst all the twirling and lunging and jumping around, I worked up a good sweat! Until I twirled too fast, and I fell AGAIN.

Now that is the best lesson I’ve ever learned on humility. Lying on the floor, sweaty and out of breath with my concerned cat sniffing at my head, “On My Own” playing in the background as a perky workout instructor called out, “One more rep!” — I’ve never been so humbled. I was the definition of “hot mess.”

Never fear. I will try again, and probably fall again, and get back up. I will try my best to get into shape and take care of myself, because these things are important to me. I will survive the soreness, both of my ego and my body.

And I’ll make fun of myself as I go about it, because that is objectively hilarious. There’s a lesson here about trying again and getting up when you fall down, but whatever. I’m too tired to find the thread. All I know is I’m going to do my best to stay upright from now on.

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