So, recently, I fell victim to one of the classic blunders. Everyone knows the most famous of these is “never get involved in a land war in Asia.” But, only slightly less well-known is this: never get into an exercise ball-balancing competition with Halla.

I should have known better. After all, whenever someone challenges you to a contest, there’s probably a good chance they think they’re better at it than you are. I mean, you’d never say, “Hey, Steph Curry, let’s play HORSE,” and you’d never say, “Hey, Steph Curry’s wife, let’s have a rap battle,” and you’d never say, “Hey Lebron, let’s see who has the most conspicuous hairline.” If you’re going to commit to the game, you must commit to win.

So anyway, exercise ball. The entire premise of the game – balance on the exercise ball for as long as you can without touching anything. Sounds simple, right?

Halla begins the quest for Exercise Ball Domination
Halla begins the quest for Exercise Ball Domination

Will and I both agreed to this, albeit Will’s agreement was somewhat reluctant, as he thought he might look foolish. Please. Nothing foolish-looking about a 6-foot-3 man trying to control his uber-long legs on an exercise ball.

Halla goes first, and apparently, as soon as I leave the house, she must immediately put Baby down to play with Ahmad C. Turtle (her turtle toy, obvi) and start Dalai-Lama-Zen-Mastering on this ball. Seriously. First try – 2:38. She makes it look easy. My first try…. pretty sure it clocked in at about… hmmm… 11 milliseconds. Halla didn’t even get a chance to start and stop the phone before I had to put my foot down. Second try… probably three milliseconds, so we’re only getting worse here, peeps. It’s like going from a Kennedy to One Direction or something. Third, and final, competitive try for time… we’ll just allude to the upcoming Belmont and say that I was scratched from the competition.

Will came in second with a respectable 0:28. It was like having Tony Romo as your quarterback – respectable, but never going to get a ring.

And if it had ended there, that would have been a good, harmless activity. But no. Of course it couldn’t end there.

Those of you who know me in real life (or have read my blog a while…or have played Catchphrase with me) know a few key things about me. I have a fast internal monologue, I like to use lots and lots of vocabulary words and I really, really, REALLY hate losing.

The rest of this story has nothing to do with the first two things. If this were a movie, you’d see me putting a bunch of powder on my hands and running at the balance beam in a multi-clip montage. As it was, there was no powder and all I could do was get back on the ball, intent on perfecting my equilibrium and beating Halla and Will adding this important life skill to my repertoire.

So I get back on the horse, or rather, the ball. I developed a new patented balancing method involving crossing your legs mid-calf to help switch your weight appropriately. It worked and the second-tabulating began.

The bad news? Crossing your legs makes things go rather awry if you lose your balance, and, with your legs cross, you can’t really right yourself easily. Instead…well, of course, I went slow-motion crashing backwards off the ball and into a small and very hard table. The only thing that could have made it worse was if the vase on the table had tipped over, movie-scene style, and smashed on my head. Which it didn’t. Or if Halla had captured it all on camera. Which she didn’t… Instead, she was so concerned about me that she jumped down multiple steps on the stairs at once, almost falling herself and adding to the general mayhem.

Don’t worry – I only added a sizeable bruisey-patch to my back, and a slight concussed feeling and case of sfairesphobia to my poor brain. Oh, and, somehow the injury has dislocated a portion of the hip-hop recognizing part of my brain, as I unfortunately and hopelessly confused Jeremih, Jamiroqui and Genuwine. That’s how you know it’s a serious loss of recall, peeps.

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