The wind escapes

Although I try not to criticize others’ grammar or spelling, one construct which really irks me is “I can’t breath!”

Breath” is a noun; “breathe” is the associated verb.

However, losing one’s breath is certainly a thing, and perhaps that’s where the “e” escapes!

The feeling of having your wind knocked out is a horrible feeling. It happens when you get a sudden jolt either from an impact or various other situations, and I have two that were particularly memorable.

In my fourth, fifth, and sixth-grade years, I lived two blocks from my school, and would therefore walk or bike there every day. There was one winter day when I was walking, alone (I don’t know why I didn’t walk with my siblings and/or parents to school in general…).

I walked from my back yard through a neighbor’s side yard (and they never seemed to mind this). Down Fir Hollow Lane I walked on the south sidewalk, before reaching Beaver Creek Lane. I crossed Fir Hollow, and then crossed Beaver Creek in the crosswalk. At the two-o’clock position, I saw, in a line, the sand volleyball pit, the oddly placed forest, and the playground of Humann Elementary School.

Just as I was picking up my feet to go from street to sidewalk, my footing fled on a patch of black ice, and I fell onto my bottom. This knocked the wind out of me, and I was really scared because I couldn’t breathe! I picked myself up (with no nicks or cuts), and heavily tried to breathe as I walked across the volleyball pit, through the forest, and up through the playground, to the basketball courts, and then to the porch. My wind returned as I got into the school lobby and waited for the bell with some of my classmates.

Fast forward to the summer after my sixth grade year. My family went to a lake house near Linoma Beach in August 1999, for a party from… I think, one of Molly’s friends from swimming. I was looking forward to this event, because I had enjoyed previous lake house experiences up near Columbus, with the Brockman family.

The house was built on a somewhat steep hill, and there was a rope that you could swing off in order to fly into the lake. A rock outcropping provided a “staircase” for those who just wanted to walk into the lake that way, and I had used the staircase at first.

Dad and Levi were having fun flying on the rope, and my adventurous spirit made me want to try it (and/or remembering American Gladiators and Nickelodeon game shows that used ropes and zip lines).

So, I took hold of the rope, and didn’t want to fly too far past shore, because I wasn’t a great swimmer.

But I let go of the rope a little too late, and fell into shallow water, again ending up on my bottom and the sand within the water. That was the bad news, but the good news was that the water somewhat broke my fall. I would have been in bigger trouble if I had waited much longer!

This definitely knocked the wind out of me, though I retained consciousness and lucidity. But it was a trial to try to climb the rocks back to the house’s deck, and I’m glad that Dad was there, to let me know that I would be fine.

Dinner that night included veggie burgers, which tasted awful. (This was back in 1999, and my tastes have evolved a lot since then. Part of the bad taste may have had to do with the loss of breath, or my expectation of it being a beef burger).

Unlike the ice incident, it took me a lot longer to recover from the rope incident. I couldn’t walk for long without having discomfort in my chest and lungs.

Still, it’s good to know that having the wind knocked out of you from a sudden impact is a recoverable condition!


פסח: ה’ ימים (Passover: 5 days).

Big Proctor Set: 16 days.

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