Dear Chelsea-in-Portland, My New BFF.

So. You were out for a jog exploring the snow in Portland when you were stopped by a reporter for an interview. You gave a fine interview. I know others said you sounded like a tool – but as a runner myself – I know we often sound like tools. It’s our native language. You discussed why you like running in the snow and you and your boyfriend commiserated about the REAL crazies being the cyclists. (My husband is a cyclist. I stand by them being the “real crazies” 90% of the time.) And then you jogged off and the most terrible/perfect thing happened. You fell on your ass while the camera was filming you.

Oh, man. In that moment? It was like going to war with you. I felt a sudden connection and this intense desire to protect you from any and all scrutiny.

It’s part of the klutz code.

Luckily Deadspin did a follow-up interview with you in which you proved you were A) O.K. and B) Kinda hysterical. This is my favorite bit:

Obviously, you run a lot. Casual runners don’t just decide to go for an evening jaunt in a snowstorm. What does your average week look like running-wise? What’s your standard run? Do you do races?

I’ve run some long-distance races but I usually just go out in search of local news crews and ask them to film me waxing poetic about running, then fall on my ass in front of them. That’s my favorite kind of run.

Now, here’s the thing. I run trails so I fall ALL THE TIME. (I use the whole “I run trails” thing as my “excuse” but – for the record – I’m a klutz and have also fallen on the smooth surface of the road.) I fall enough that I can kinda categorize them. There are the falls that are slow-motion, giving you time to contemplate the fall before you impact. And then there are the falls where you are on the ground before you know what happened. Your fall kinda looked like the earlier type, so I think you had a slow-millisecond to consider what was about to happen. I’m betting, in that millisecond, you were praying with voracity, “Please don’t be filming, please don’t be filming.”

The Deadspin video stops as you hit, so I’m also curious as to how long it took you to get up. That’s how I tell how bad a fall was. If I jump up immediately to try to be all, “No big deal! Totes fine!” then I’m not hurt. But if I linger long enough to survey the situation, then I’m going to be in a world of pain later. Your interview makes it sound like the pain is all related to your ego. So, good for you.

I just wanted you to know you have a kindred spirit in Alabama who does not think you’re a tool. And who watched that video like it was captured straight from my nightmares. I actually almost DIDN’T watch it because I was afraid my sympathy-embarrassment would be too strong. And while it was, your interview and your brilliant take on the whole situation helped a bit.

Here’s to family that will never let you live this down (My brother would probably figure out a way to turn that GIF into the family Christmas card this year) and appreciating any future runs that don’t involve a camera crew filming you busting your ass.

Your friend in running and in falling,

1 thought on “Dear Chelsea-in-Portland, My New BFF.”

  1. Chris shows me “funny” videos periodically. He scans youtube in the mornings as he’s waking up. And wouldn’t you know it, this morning he says “I have a HAA – LAAARIOUS video to show you.” He finishes his workout and then comes upstairs and says again, “ok, who wants to see the funniest video?” Well, of course, Jack and I want to laugh so we say sure! He proceeds to show us this clip you referred to and it kind of makes me laugh but my tailbone hurts way more than the comedy. I’m not saying I don’t laugh (hard) at others blunders, but it is usually at people who are scared to death on an amusement ride (that’s absolutely hysterical to me). I love that you wrote this letter… I sure hope it gets to her cause I’m sure it would make her smile.

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