12 July 2018

Hafiz Adewuyi

And the man fell splat into the ground

Less than ten minutes into my run this night, close to the roundabout at the Ikoyi end of the Lekki-Ikoyi link bridge, I felt into a square-shaped manhole in the footpath. It's funny to think that as soon as I realized what had happened, my first feeling was embarrassment. A feeling which drove an instinctual reaction to try and pick me out of the hole as quickly as I could. Nobody should see me in this vulnerable state, I don't want any sorries. And indeed, no one stopped, leaving me feeling a few minutes later as I walked back to the car park like I could have used at least one 'sorry' from an empathetic stranger

Just a few seconds after the fall and I was out of the hole; back on my feet and on solid ground. I felt a dull ache in several parts of my body. I was hurt but not very badly hurt, that's the message my body sent to my brain. I couldn't help but think - as I walked away from the hole which had just half-swallowed me - that I was lucky, and that this fall could have been much worse, given the fact that I had no warning for what was coming until my left elbow and right knee hit the ground.

Bruised left lap

Wounded elbow
Falling is a truly humbling experience, sublime almost. For a fleeting moment, it takes away the illusion of control, and of importance that we humans love to cling so tightly to. "Your fate and existence are to a large extent, subject to time and chance", the universe seems to be trying to remind us when an accident like falling befalls us.

I've had three big falls this year and several other non-notable ones. Yes, I remember, because the injuries that came with each big fall all took time to heal. And beyond that, they left their scars.

The first one was totally pointless, to be honest. I was at a house party somewhere in VI. I decided I needed to get something from my car - can't recall what it was. So, I stepped out of the party for a few minutes to get it. And at that moment, I remembered what an honourable member of the Lagos fit-fam I am. Hence, I decided instead of walking to my car which wasn't even that far away from the party house, to jog instead. One two three four, I'm sure I had not taken the tenth forward leap before one of my feet hit a speed-bump, which sent all 6-feet of me crashing down and hard into the tarmac.

Two young men were just a few yards ahead of me, walking towards me. And just like tonight, all I wanted to do was to appear to them like what they just saw was nothing at all. That it was just a casual fall, and that I was not hurt. But the pain in both my knees sent me limping to one side of the road. I took a sit on the sidewalk, nursing the pains with a grimace until my brain got the memo that I was now aware of which parts of my body would need special attention for the next few weeks. On the bright side, this fall gave me my one and only ripped blue jeans.

The second time I fell this year was when I was in Sierra Leone, at the Aberdeen beach, in April. My host, John, had taken me to the beach on a sunny Sunday afternoon - my third day in the coastal Freetown city. I was enjoying the waves wash over my feet and striking different sexy poses for the photo-shoot which John was kind enough to grant me. And then it happened.

The algae covering the rocks on which I stood in the water gave way. And you know how it goes from here. Fresh red blood flowed freely out of several areas in my hindlimbs. John expressed how he felt bad about having taken this here JJC boy out of his drab hotel room in the first place. But I told him, that I couldn't be more grateful that he had gone out of his way to help make my experience in the city better than it would have been without him. And that this was all part of the experience and falling at Aberdeen beach would always be a dear memory for me. Indeed, I meant every word of what I told John from the bottom of my heart.

The face of a fallen man

Now I want to do something about the open manholes on that path. Just a few weeks ago, there used to be a car tyre in the hole I fell into this night. This was a hole I knew very well and this fact makes me feel rather silly that I still fell into it. My spidey senses should have at least tingled knowing that I was nearing this treacherous spot which has been on my path dozens of time before tonight.

Perhaps, if the tyre was still in the hole, the fall would not have been as serious as it was. I'll explore my options for trying to see to it that my fate does not befall anyone else using that same footpath anytime soon.

See you at the next fall.

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13 July 2018 at 11:13 delete

Interesting read. Sorry about the falls. My manager at work broke her leg by walking on a concrete slab that was covering a gutter, not knowing the slab was weak. She was hospitalized for six months and she is still using a four legged walking stick at the office. Be careful.

13 July 2018 at 11:32 delete

Take care mate. Hope you broke no bones.

13 July 2018 at 19:16 delete

Jesus. That's horrifying. Indeed I was right about the fact that I was really lucky last night.

13 July 2018 at 19:18 delete

Thanks Vic. I'm alright save for a few superficial injuries.