Readers Roundtable: Clumsiest Non-Running Way You’ve Sidelined Yourself?

My reputation as clumsy is legendary in my family. There are fridge door handles that my parents stopped replacing because I’d tripped and tore the handle off the door so many times (grasping the handle in a futile attempt to keep myself from falling). My sister loves to recall the work day where she heard me fall down an entire flight of cement stairs, coffee in hand, when my stiletto heel got caught in the cuff of my pants. ย I don’t just fall down stairs, I fall up stairs, and not gracefully. Ballet, ice skating lessons… nothing my parents put me in as a child helped.

Injury recoveryGrowing old has not made me more graceful. I trip over invisible sidewalk cracks, and flip-flops are literally off-limits from my closet. (You might even remember when I gave myself a concussion while running). ย And, last week, I woke up in the middle of the night to get a drink of water, and I stumbled into my closed hall closet door, hitting the front of my hip against the side of my doorknob. When I woke up, I had a bruise the size of a dessert plate. I’m adding this to my repertoire of injuries not caused by running, but impacting running nonetheless.

They are embarrassing to admit. And like anything that keeps me from running, they suck.

I’m hoping I’m not alone. In a quick informal poll of fellow Salties, it seems they have some stories to share, so I’m thinking you might too!

What are the most embarrassing non-running ways you’ve injured yourself that have kept you from running?

Comment below, and share on Twitter!

Ultrarunner, adventurer, academic, and feminist. Running Across the USA in 2021. I write about ultrarunning, adventuring, and the intersection of endurance athletics and life.

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  1. Oooh, ohh, I have one!

    I don’t know if it’s the most embarrassing, but I have a super recent one. I was running along Friday morning, having already dropped off my running buddy because I wanted to do an extra mile. When I was a couple blocks from my house – BAM! I didn’t see a rogue crabapple and went down hard, turning my ankle in the process.

  2. I was at a party recently playing Giant Jenga and my drunk friend aggressively pulled a piece out, launching it straight towards my sandal-clad foot. I had to ice that baby for a few days. Excuse for not running those few days: Giant Jenga Incident.

  3. My favorite- I broke my big toe by stubbing it on a cat tree (repeatedly). Sign from above- don’t be lazy; move the darned tree. Broken big toes are not fun for running and unfortunately heal at the same speed as less embarrassing fractures.

  4. I’m practically a professional klutz. I once slipped in my stockings and fell down a carpeted flight of stairs in a colleague’s home just as we were about to leave to catch a train. (I was staying with her on a work trip; we made the train.) My all-time war story, though, is 4 high-schoolers, one backyard trampoline…the resulting ankle sprain sidelined me for two weeks. NO TRAMPOLINES.

  5. I once sprained my ankle because I (attempted to) hurdle the baby gate for our dog in my need to answer the phone at breakneck speed while wearing a mini skirt. This was back in the landline days. The detail of who I was expecting a call from has been lost to time.