amanda_lodden: (Default)
#3: I am a fast learner.

I pick up on things fairly quickly. Coupled with the last post about not realizing I shouldn't be able to do something, this means that I can wing my way through a new endeavor well enough that casual acquaintances often don't realize that I had no idea what I was doing last week. It usually only takes me one or two iterations through a set of instructions to understand the deeper Hows and Whys of the steps.

This, too, leads to some frustration when it comes to interacting with others, because there are certain times when I know what I'm doing, but I don't know the Right Words to explain it to someone who does it professionally. This most often comes up with accountants, though I suspect that might be because they're one of the few groups that I am forced to deal with. I can talk for hours on end about the expenses we incur that are directly attributable to providing service to customers and still get puzzled looks, but if I invoke the Magic Incantation of "Cost of Goods Sold" then all is clear in their world. I have a long-standing rant about people who don't know their own job functions well enough to recognize them in the wild, and also a deep and abiding respect for people who can explain the same thing in three different ways (because those are the people that I'm absolutely certain understand what they're explaining, instead of just bullshitting their way through it).

But yet another reason why I dislike short bullet-point lists of trivia about me is that so much of my life is a study in contradictions. Which brings us to

#4: I am a slow learner

Sometimes, I Just. Don't. Get. It. The best example I have is to explain why I sometimes wear an ankle brace.

I clog. It's a high-impact form of dancing, a lot like a cross-between line dancing and tap, only with more noise and more bouncing. We used to have a twice-a-year dance night at a particular park's recreation hall. The floor, as typical of park recreation halls, was vinyl laid over poured concrete, but the concrete hadn't been leveled properly, so there were subtle dips in the floor. They were all off to the side and near pillars, so it didn't really impact our dancing. The janitor there also used some sort of floor wax that made rubber-soled shoes stick to the floor, which meant that those of us who usually danced in tennis shoes for comfort very unhappy because it was like trying to dance in glue. However, the wax was extremely slippery if you were wearing leather-soled shoes, which is what clogging shoes are generally made of. The upshot was that most of us wore our leather-soled taps and danced very carefully and learned how to recover from a slide and also learned not to try to catch ourselves when we inevitably fell (your butt can recover from hitting the floor, but wrists break easily).

While at that hall, I was returning from the bathroom when I slipped on the floor. It wasn't enough to cause me to fall, and it wouldn't have caused any damage at all, except that I caught the edge of one of the dips in the floor, and my foot turned under so that I my weight was entirely on the side of my foot. And then I continued sliding. You know how painful it is when you accidentally step wrong and step on the side of your foot but shift your weight immediately? It's like that, only without the part where you recover quickly.

Oddly, my foot didn't hurt afterward. I was too young and naive to realize that when something like that doesn't hurt at all, it means that you've done enough damage to interfere with the nerve signals. I *was* bright enough to sit out the next couple dances, which I didn't like anyway, on the grounds that I should probably let my ankle rest from the slide (I never actually fell, thanks to a well-placed pillar that I caught on the way down). I slid off my shoe without untying it, a bad habit that I still have to this day, and put my foot up on the chair next to mine to let it rest. While I was sitting there, I came to the conclusion that while the near-fall hadn't done any damage (so I thought), it certainly had to have weakened my ankle, and that if I continued dancing that night I was risking doing some real damage to it. I packed up my things and put my shoe back on. The shoe was tight, but because of the habit of sliding them on and off I'd also developed a habit of waiting until the laces got loose enough to annoy me and then tying them extra-tight so that they had further to go to get back to the annoyingly-loose stage. I remember thinking "Huh, I don't remember re-tying the laces recently" but not thinking hard enough to realize what it meant. Mom and I had driven separately, but she was the worrying sort, so I figured that I'd go over and tell her I was leaving so that she didn't panic when she realized that I was gone. Mom was about 50 feet to my right, and the door was about 25 feet to my left. I stood up to go over to where she was, and made it exactly one step, because as soon as I put weight on my left foot it felt like someone had stabbed me in the ankle. Fortunately the beginning of the path was a line of chairs. I fell into the one next to where I had been sitting.

After I caught my breath and blinked back the tears, I decided that Mom would figure it out for herself, because that 50 feet suddenly looked like it was 500 miles. I hobbled my way to the door, leaning on furniture and vending machines on the way, never once thinking to ask for some help, because I am both that stubborn and that stupid. I had to sit and rest on the front porch of the hall, and I'm fairly certain that I crawled part of the way through the parking lot (if not, it was the driveway at home that I crawled on). Fortunately it was my left ankle and I drove a car with an automatic transmission, because until I had gotten into the car I had not considered the possibility that I might not be able to drive myself. I drove home, limped into the house, grabbed an ice pack from the freezer (which was mercifully close to the garage door that I entered through), flopped onto the couch and cried for a good long time.

X-rays at the doctor's office the next morning showed that nothing was broken, just strained. The doctor gave me some pills for the pain, some more pills to keep the swelling down, and told me to stay off of my ankle "for a while". He did not define what he meant by "for a while" and it did not occur to me to ask. At that moment, I had a hard time envisioning ever putting weight on that ankle again.

But, of course, the worst of the pain died down, and after two weeks I felt fine, so I went to my normal clogging class again. I figured I'd just dance until it started to hurt again and then stop. Did I mention that clogging is high impact? Did I mention that I was still taking the pain pills? I re-injured my ankle five times before I realized that if I was going to go but "only dance until it starts to hurt" that I should not be on any medication that stopped it from hurting right away. I re-injured it another three times before I realized that if I danced until it hurt, I'd already done the damage-- I needed to stop BEFORE it started to hurt again. It took two more tries before it finally sunk in that I did not have the self-control necessary to stop before I did damage, and six months after I should have taken a break from clogging, I finally did.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
#3: I am a fast learner.

I pick up on things fairly quickly. Coupled with the last post about not realizing I shouldn't be able to do something, this means that I can wing my way through a new endeavor well enough that casual acquaintances often don't realize that I had no idea what I was doing last week. It usually only takes me one or two iterations through a set of instructions to understand the deeper Hows and Whys of the steps.

This, too, leads to some frustration when it comes to interacting with others, because there are certain times when I know what I'm doing, but I don't know the Right Words to explain it to someone who does it professionally. This most often comes up with accountants, though I suspect that might be because they're one of the few groups that I am forced to deal with. I can talk for hours on end about the expenses we incur that are directly attributable to providing service to customers and still get puzzled looks, but if I invoke the Magic Incantation of "Cost of Goods Sold" then all is clear in their world. I have a long-standing rant about people who don't know their own job functions well enough to recognize them in the wild, and also a deep and abiding respect for people who can explain the same thing in three different ways (because those are the people that I'm absolutely certain understand what they're explaining, instead of just bullshitting their way through it).

But yet another reason why I dislike short bullet-point lists of trivia about me is that so much of my life is a study in contradictions. Which brings us to

#4: I am a slow learner

Sometimes, I Just. Don't. Get. It. The best example I have is to explain why I sometimes wear an ankle brace.

I clog. It's a high-impact form of dancing, a lot like a cross-between line dancing and tap, only with more noise and more bouncing. We used to have a twice-a-year dance night at a particular park's recreation hall. The floor, as typical of park recreation halls, was vinyl laid over poured concrete, but the concrete hadn't been leveled properly, so there were subtle dips in the floor. They were all off to the side and near pillars, so it didn't really impact our dancing. The janitor there also used some sort of floor wax that made rubber-soled shoes stick to the floor, which meant that those of us who usually danced in tennis shoes for comfort very unhappy because it was like trying to dance in glue. However, the wax was extremely slippery if you were wearing leather-soled shoes, which is what clogging shoes are generally made of. The upshot was that most of us wore our leather-soled taps and danced very carefully and learned how to recover from a slide and also learned not to try to catch ourselves when we inevitably fell (your butt can recover from hitting the floor, but wrists break easily).

While at that hall, I was returning from the bathroom when I slipped on the floor. It wasn't enough to cause me to fall, and it wouldn't have caused any damage at all, except that I caught the edge of one of the dips in the floor, and my foot turned under so that I my weight was entirely on the side of my foot. And then I continued sliding. You know how painful it is when you accidentally step wrong and step on the side of your foot but shift your weight immediately? It's like that, only without the part where you recover quickly.

Oddly, my foot didn't hurt afterward. I was too young and naive to realize that when something like that doesn't hurt at all, it means that you've done enough damage to interfere with the nerve signals. I *was* bright enough to sit out the next couple dances, which I didn't like anyway, on the grounds that I should probably let my ankle rest from the slide (I never actually fell, thanks to a well-placed pillar that I caught on the way down). I slid off my shoe without untying it, a bad habit that I still have to this day, and put my foot up on the chair next to mine to let it rest. While I was sitting there, I came to the conclusion that while the near-fall hadn't done any damage (so I thought), it certainly had to have weakened my ankle, and that if I continued dancing that night I was risking doing some real damage to it. I packed up my things and put my shoe back on. The shoe was tight, but because of the habit of sliding them on and off I'd also developed a habit of waiting until the laces got loose enough to annoy me and then tying them extra-tight so that they had further to go to get back to the annoyingly-loose stage. I remember thinking "Huh, I don't remember re-tying the laces recently" but not thinking hard enough to realize what it meant. Mom and I had driven separately, but she was the worrying sort, so I figured that I'd go over and tell her I was leaving so that she didn't panic when she realized that I was gone. Mom was about 50 feet to my right, and the door was about 25 feet to my left. I stood up to go over to where she was, and made it exactly one step, because as soon as I put weight on my left foot it felt like someone had stabbed me in the ankle. Fortunately the beginning of the path was a line of chairs. I fell into the one next to where I had been sitting.

After I caught my breath and blinked back the tears, I decided that Mom would figure it out for herself, because that 50 feet suddenly looked like it was 500 miles. I hobbled my way to the door, leaning on furniture and vending machines on the way, never once thinking to ask for some help, because I am both that stubborn and that stupid. I had to sit and rest on the front porch of the hall, and I'm fairly certain that I crawled part of the way through the parking lot (if not, it was the driveway at home that I crawled on). Fortunately it was my left ankle and I drove a car with an automatic transmission, because until I had gotten into the car I had not considered the possibility that I might not be able to drive myself. I drove home, limped into the house, grabbed an ice pack from the freezer (which was mercifully close to the garage door that I entered through), flopped onto the couch and cried for a good long time.

X-rays at the doctor's office the next morning showed that nothing was broken, just strained. The doctor gave me some pills for the pain, some more pills to keep the swelling down, and told me to stay off of my ankle "for a while". He did not define what he meant by "for a while" and it did not occur to me to ask. At that moment, I had a hard time envisioning ever putting weight on that ankle again.

But, of course, the worst of the pain died down, and after two weeks I felt fine, so I went to my normal clogging class again. I figured I'd just dance until it started to hurt again and then stop. Did I mention that clogging is high impact? Did I mention that I was still taking the pain pills? I re-injured my ankle five times before I realized that if I was going to go but "only dance until it starts to hurt" that I should not be on any medication that stopped it from hurting right away. I re-injured it another three times before I realized that if I danced until it hurt, I'd already done the damage-- I needed to stop BEFORE it started to hurt again. It took two more tries before it finally sunk in that I did not have the self-control necessary to stop before I did damage, and six months after I should have taken a break from clogging, I finally did.

Profile

amanda_lodden: (Default)
amanda_lodden

January 2015

S M T W T F S
    123
45678 910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 25th, 2017 10:24 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios