BEING lucky sometimes feels exactly the opposite.
I hadn’t expected to end up face down in the road when I set off on a recent Sunday afternoon run.
It had been going okay until, about four miles in, I saw a bloke ahead of me waving a stick/bat about and shouting at a young kid. He was threatening to hit him and, though it don’t look as if he was going to act on his words, it caught my attention.
I started to turn towards him and, having not seen me, he took a step back, his bat/stick getting close enough for me to take evasive action.
The next I knew, while others filled their faces with Sunday lunch smothered in gravy I was filling mine with gravel — a couple of letters can make all the difference.
The man picked me up and was pretty fleet of foot in leaving the scene, and slowly I realised I had done quite a bit of damage. Blood was pouring down my shirt, presumably from my mouth, and I spluttered something about losing my teeth. They were still there, though some of them had been knocked back.
My little finger had been bent into a position it could never have managed without some force and I was covered in cuts. There was no pain, the shock, I assume, numbing me.
A taxi driver came running out of his house and gave me paper towels and water to clean myself up with, before running me home — no, he didn’t charge.
I was whisked up to A&E where a few tests — as I had hit my head in the road, where a car apparently swerved round me — revealed I was mostly okay but would need dental treatment. That is currently ongoing, the dislocated finger is still very sore, but the cut face, chest, hands and knees have healed nicely.
“You were lucky,” my mum said, as did almost everyone else I told (about 3,000 people, mostly random walkers I have accosted over the past three weeks).
Lucky(?) I thought, then remembered my mum fell last year coming out of a football match at Valley Parade in Bradford. “Watch that kerb,” I said. “Yes, I’ve seen it,” she snapped before heading onto the pavement. “I thought you said you’d seen it,” I said. “I did but my foot didn’t go where I wanted it to.”
“You were lucky,” I said.
Not everyone is though. How many stories do you read in which one trip, a fall, a punch, leads to the death of the victim?
“They were unlucky,” you say, recalling your own incident or that of someone you know and ending with “I was lucky there.”
It’s scary how thin the line is between life and death or serious injury and how fragile we actually are.
I’ve broken fingers and toes in the past, once falling down the steps of a nightclub, another time during a night out on Exeter Quay and again while covering a Skipton pavement in blood after being knocked to the ground.
I’m not sure what the human equivalent of a cat’s nine lives is, but I reckon I’ve used most of them.