by Judith Fein

Yeah, life is a trip all right. A potentially life-altering trip.

A few hours ago, the sun was smiling on Santa Fe. We’ve had winds more vicious than dogs, white snow when purple lilacs should be blooming, sun, no sun, and today, sun again. The kind of sun that makes you fling open your front door, slide your tootsies into your tennis shoes, and hit the streets. Which is exactly what I did. You’ll see I am not kidding.

My husband Paul and I were walking downtown, past the Plaza, babbling about this and that and also that and this when suddenly I tripped over some dumb nib sticking up out of the sidewalk cement—obviously placed there by a jinn when I wasn’t looking. I flew up into the air, hit the curb, careened against the curb and landed about 12 feet from where I had taken to the air, Superwoman fashion. Paul, who normally has faster reflexes than a sprinter at the start of a race, just stood there, his jaw slack. Then he ran to help me up.

“Yes!” I screamed, stretching my arms skyward. “Yes! Yes! Yes!”

I am sure Paul thought I had fallen on my head. He screwed up his face into a question mark.

“You know how the experts always tell you that balance is important? And that it’s essential to walk on uneven surfaces?” I asked, standing in the middle of the street.

“Uh Huh, “ Paul said, uncertainly.

“You’ve heard them say that if you’re fit and you work out, when you fall, you won’t slam into the ground and injure yourself!”

“Uh, yes.”

“And they tell you that if you’re in good shape you will roll. Well, I just rolled. You saw it. I rolled for a dozen feet.”

“I thought of it more like Daylight Savings time,” Paul mused, as I brushed dirt and cement from the knees, hips and calves of my black pants.”


“Yeah. You sort of acted it out. Spring ahead. Fall back.”

He can joke if he wishes. But the next time someone tells you that if you do balance exercises, trek on uneven ground and work out you will roll….. believe him.


Judith Fein is an award-winning travel journalist who has contributed to more than 80 publications. Together with her husband, photographer Paul Ross, she also gives travel talks, teaches travel writing and sometimes takes people on exotic adventures. Her website

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