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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Repeat (01/24/13)

TITLE: Accidental Extreme Sports
By Emily Ritter


“When I walk down these winding stairs, I try to get as close to the center as I can to exert less effort!” Alex says to me as I witness the tight steps he takes, one twisting over top of the other.

“Go for it! I just focus on not falling down them,” I say, chuckling. Alex joins my laughter for a minute, and we part ways.

The honesty of my statement stays with me. I know of a woman who fell out her second story window while she was cleaning it. She is completely paralyzed. She didn’t see that coming.

I think about her window as I carry my one-year-old down two flights of stairs. His puffy diaper blocks my view as I turn the corner, and I hope my foot has enough memory to gage the distance. This time it does. What a relief.

It’s that moment when, in black high heels that are slanting down a red carpeted theater, my mind’s eye shows me the possibility of summersaulting accidentally into the orchestra pit from fifty rows above, picking up speed and ripping my dress as I summersault, mooning the crowd, people staring, people laughing. The second half of the show is delayed for them to clean the blood and point fingers at the fool who couldn’t walk.

And I feel that sense of possibility in my day-to-day life. The possibility that can come from just walking.

When I raced toward my dorm room in college, for example, to engage the entering stranger and convince him I was a student who lived there who forgot her key, that slanted ice won. As I pushed up onto all fours, I saw the light from the warmth behind that door seal to black and click behind the stranger. I laughed. As I walked to class with a bloody knee, I marveled over the authenticity of the holes in my jeans.

It seems fitting that the mark of my personality, my walk, that has been criticized as strutting, and been distinguished as recognizable from hundreds of yards away amongst hundreds of people, would be my repeated, mundane, pursuit. One foot in front of the other you say? But the terrain is not flat, and the surface is easy to accidentally skate over.

I remember the day I decided to run up that winding staircase, and caught my chin three stairs from the top. I laid there for a minute, reflecting. It happened so fast I wasn’t sure it was me who had fallen. I glanced left and right for witnesses. Finding none, I gingerly walked up the last few steps, and moseyed to the door.

Each day brings opportunities filled with flip-flops wedged between subway doors, and mismatched shoes, your basic accidental extreme sports.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/01/13
I think steps and stairs are a perfect example of repeating. You made me smile with your descriptions. I thought it was quite the clever take on the topic.

This may just be me, because sometimes I'm slow on the uptake, but I didn't quite get what was happening in the college scene. I know somehow she tricked the stranger to let her in, but I wasn't quite sure how or why.

You did a nice job of bringing your MC to life. I think your ending is great and it is something to make the reader think, which is always a good thing.
C D Swanson 02/02/13
This was a great piece I really enjoyed it. It held my attention, made me smile and it was a clever take on the topic. I especially loved the last line. Great job. God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/07/13
Congratulations on ranking 7th in level one!