I Fell into the Canal Yesterday

In these strange times of coronavirus and self isolation, the Government has authorized one solitary daily exercise for us all so long as social distancing measures of two metres  are maintained.

As I set off on my daily run, alone yesterday, I had not gone so far when I tripped and fell on the side of the road. I was able to save myself from harm by directing my fall onto the grass verge on the side of the road.

The fall affected my pace and my mindset and for a period unsettled my thinking as I was required by self to take more care of my physical well-being, when my intention during my run is primarily to nurture my emotional well-being.

The route back to my start point was a long run along the beautiful canal which is local to my home. It was difficult to maintain the required social distancing requirement, as set out by the Government due to the narrowness of the paths in part.

I was constantly pulling in to the left by the wall or to the right by the edge of the water to allow other walkers and cyclists and runners and dog-walkers to pass by.

As I approached the end of my run, I noticed a young couple walking ahead of me, orientated to the left by the wall. I instinctively pulled out to the right by the grass verge on the canal-side edge and as I drew close behind them, I suddenly lost my footing and I slipped and fell onto the stony path.

As I fell, I felt my legs swung under me to the right down the edge of the verge with a force and momentum that I could not stop, so that my legs, lead by my feet entered the water in a bizarre fashion that resulted in me landing upright, on my feet up to my knees in the canal.

The young couple were alarmed, and I was shocked to say the least and the young girl came over to pull me out, but I politely declined and I appealed to her to maintain the social distance between us, for her sake.

I could not find anything on the ground to hold onto, to pull myself out of the canal and I struggled to get a footing on the steep-ish bank.

The young man came over, alarmed at my predicament, but I again appealed to him to maintain the social distance between us, for his sake.

Eventually I hauled myself out and managed to upright myself on the path. Some kind people called out to check that  I was alright. I thanked them for their kindness and assured them that I was ok, despite feeling shaken and upset and cut on my knees and hands.

I squelched along the path, but I noticed that the young couple had pulled aside to wait for me to pass them. I started to run, my rhythm seriously dented, and as I passed the couple I waved happily, feeling anything but happy, to assure them that I was ok.

In these times of pandemic, I experienced genuine care and support from those around me. This of course fell completely apart when I arrived home and news of my misfortune hit the family whats-app group resulting a sense of hilarity and story-telling which lasted the whole day through.

Take care

William Defoe



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