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A Fall



By: Matt Zhang


I readied my feet on the hard, concrete surface of the tennis court and got into a sprinter’s position. My heart thudded and thoughts ran through my head like cheetahs chasing an antelope. My shoes were prepared to run and my teeth were clenched shut. My tennis coach, who was watching over the racing in my tennis class, suddenly yelled, “Ready, set, GOLDFISH!”


That one word “goldfish” sent everyone, including me, sprinting with all our might only to realize what the coach said and rush back. After we got back and took a quick breath from our sprint, we got back into sprinting positions and again readied our feet, putting them down as firmly as possible. This time though, we were prepared to stop if our coach duped us again. All of us were prepared not to get tricked again so horribly. This time, the coach was satisfied by our humiliation of running across the courts when he didn’t say go. So, he kindly but sternly hollered, “GO!” and we all, with sweat beating on our foreheads, ran.


Right from the start of the sprint, I outran eight other people, but that didn’t matter now. I was running so fast I felt like I was flying, soaring like a bird. My mind was clear from the thoughts of worry and my heart’s beating slowed down as my nerves eased. Unbeknownst to me, my hands were so close to the floor I could touch it, but luckily I didn’t, yet.


As I passed another three people, I saw my untied shoelace flapping like a fish out of water. Before I could even react, my right foot landed right on my untied shoelace as I suddenly came to a stop. I went tumbling down from being on cloud nine to the dump. In an instant, I flung my hands out to stop my nose from crashing into the cement. In slow motion, I watched as my wrist slowly landed on the hard concrete flooring of the tennis court and I heard a tiny, but sharp snap. The pain was almost unbearable and I felt like rolling in agony, but I didn’t. I had more to worry about as my hands instantly pulled away and my nose gave the concrete a hard kiss. After the initial shock and surge of pain, I slowly began to lift myself, with my right arm only. Unfortunately, my left hand’s wrist just wouldn’t budge, and I didn’t try because the pain was already eating away at my bone. Out of the corner of my ear, I heard a tiny squeak.

” Are you alright?” I heard someone say, followed by more questions.

“Do you need help?”

“Are you okay?”

I answered each one with, “I'm fine.”

I wasn’t, my pain in my wrist went from eating my bone to chomping mercilessly at my arm.

“Are you sure?” The coach asked. “That was a pretty hard fall.”

“I’m fine. I’m fine. There’s no need for any assistance.” I replied.

“Okay, well then, the class will now end.”


So, I slowly trudged out of the tennis court and back home, my left hand still throbbing from the pain. It would take me two days to finally realize I had fractured my wrist.

I look back at that day and I slowly remember why always pay close attention to little things like tying your shoes and a small fall because they can lead to devastating results.

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