Wonder Why Wednesday: Crashing Down Edition

Picture it: The gym. 2010. A young-ish woman is in Pilates class.

(If you caught the Golden Girls reference, then you watch too much TV. Also, we could be good friends.)

So. Monday night I was in my Pilates class when one of those summer storms popped up, quite literally out of the blue sky. I walked into the gym at 5:50 p.m., under blue skies dotted here and there with clouds that looked like they could make rain only if they got very organized. As it was, the clouds all looked like high school seniors during the last week of school. They were doodling on their notebooks, daydreaming about being bigger, cooler, college clouds.

Approximately 30 minutes later, as I was prostrate with my feet inside spring loaded loops, focused on zipping up the bottom ribs (huh?), we heard a noise like something being ripped off the roof above us. Less than a minute later, we heard rain. But not the pitter-patter of drops on the roof. More like the sound of running water somewhere very near our heads. My two classmates and I leapt off of our reformers mere seconds before the acoustic ceiling tiles came crashing down, just inches from where our heads were once located.

That noise like something being ripped off the roof? It was the roof being ripped off the building. Apparently the wind caught part of the roof and just rolled it back, like the gym was a can of sardines. There was significant water damage to one corner of the building. In fact, the entire facility was closed today; the Pilates and yoga studios are closed indefinitely.

Of course I said a prayer of thanks that my head was not still on the reformer when the ceiling gave out. And I marveled at the power of nature. But my first thought was, Oh, man. This is just going to add fuel to my mother’s anti-exercise fire.

See, my mom is in nice shape. She looks great and she takes good care of herself. She walks for exercise, but she will not go to the gym. My mother jokes (but she’s not kidding) that exercise is dangerous. And it so happens that my life has been one long proof to her theorem. I continually have some kind of sore joint, strained muscle, over-or-under-active tendon. My fitness history is a series of athletic pursuits, broken up by injuries and rehab. It’s what I do.

And now the gym nearly lands on my head. My mom is so vindicated.

Since it’s Wonder Why Wednesday, after all, I have some questions for you.

My light question for today:
Why can’t I be that fitness buff who rarely experiences setbacks and injuries? Why does the ceiling come crashing down every time I start to hit my stride?

My only slightly deeper question:
Why am I writing so many health/fitness posts lately? We’ll move on to other topics, I promise.

If you feel the need for some depth:
This story has the potential to take us down numerous paths. We could talk fitness (check), nature, spirituality… So I wonder, why can two people can look at the same event or circumstances and walk away with two vastly different views? Obviously our life experiences inform how we see things, as do our religious and political beliefs. I guess what I wonder – what I’d like to discuss – is do we ever choose a different view of something simply because a particular perspective suits us? Do we see things how we want to in order to further our own agenda? I know what I think about this. And I know what I want to believe. What do you think?


  1. “Why does the ceiling come crashing down every time I start to hit my stride?” Wow. I’ve never met someone who could use that literally.

    But I think in general, injuries happen to me when I try to do too much at once. Typically, something will prompt me to get back to exercising, e.g., my infant trying to nurse on my moobs, and I tend to be an all-in or all-out kind of guy, so I never take it slow. Then BAM! some injury or some major ache and I’m out until my next infant tries to nurse on me.

    • I am the same way – I get super motivated and pretend I’m an Olympian. It never ends well. I’m trying to take it slow this time. We’ll see…

      Your post about the moobs had me in stitches, by the way. I tried to comment, but had major technical issues.

  2. i love that you offer your readers various depths to ponder. :)

    but back to topic, that had to be a pretty awful sound! you’ll remember that experience for a long time.

    • In hindsight is was a very scary sound. At the time we went from weird, loud sound to collapsed ceiling so quickly that I didn’t think too much about it. I’ve been through a few big storms, but have never heard anything like that!

  3. Thank goodness, you still have your head! This just goes to prove my theory (I’m with your mother here and only ‘cuz I’m lazy and out of shape!) that exercise is bad for your health. My new excuse will be the gym roof might fall on my head!

  4. Oh wow! I would had been trembling over the “what if”- good thing you guys moved quickly!

    I think it’s hilarious that your mom tries to derail you going to the gym. And that you keep getting injured. Ok, that sounds bad. I don’t think it’s funny that you get hurt, but it ironically seems to keep proving her asinine theory! (hope that sounds better):-)



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