Bad break for bumbling girl

Maddy Kennedy, staff writer

I am the most clumsy person you will ever meet. End of story. The list of trips, falls, and tumbles is nearly endless, and includes anything from stumbling over my own feet to slipping while running up the wrong side of an escalator. Most of the time, I am aware of my accident-prone nature and take careful precautions to avoid any inevitable stumbles that may occur. Maddy Kennedy: when combined, these two words could most likely be found in any dictionary or thesaurus as antonyms of balance and grace. So when I told my parents that I wanted to pick up figure skating, they were more then shocked, they seemed slightly concerned.

One cold December morning in 2002, my instructor announced that we would be doing figure eights, and I’m pretty sure I cried a little inside (though at the time I had been skating for a couple of years). Figure eights were my only weakness, my shortcoming, my personal Kryptonite. Virtually every girl in the class excelled at this simple technique that I continued to fail at for no apparent reason other than my natural tendency to fail at all things elegant and graceful.

On this particular day–however– I was feeling confident, so I decided to skate at full speed (a whopping 3 miles an hour) around the rink. I am not completely aware of events that came after this decision, but from what I was told, I somehow gathered that I tripped over my own two feet and broke two bones in my lower left leg. My guess is that my brain has blocked this memory to repress my fatal embarrassment.

It wasn’t the breaking of the bones that was the worst part, but rather the fact that my mother had no idea what to do other than attempt to comfort me as we traveled over what I thought was a thousand speed bumps, or offer me a band-aid, yes a band-aid, from her purse. Although she tried to the best of her abilities to remain calm, but I could tell she was losing it by the time we arrived at the hospital. She didn’t even bother to find a wheelchair, but decided she was going to carry me inside. She ended up hitting my broken leg on a pole not once, but twice in the course of what seemed to be the longest 500 foot walk of my tender young life.

There really is no moral to this story because after four months of being out of commission, I foolishly returned to the ice, but not much changed. I continue to skate (and fall) to this day, and my legacy of being the girl who broke her leg doing figure eights lives on to this day through my not-so-prestigious nickname, Maddy, “Stop Drop and Roll” Kennedy.