Yesterday, we brought you the unbelievable story of a runner falling in the snow immediately after giving an interview about the joys of running in the snow. It was 67 seconds of pure gold. We've since been in touch with Chelsea and she has graciously agreed to answer some questions.
She's a former writer/editor for Flavorpill and The A.V. Club and lives in New York City. She was visiting her longtime boyfriend, Michael (the guy in the video), who lives in Portland.
First order of business: are you OK, physically? It looked bad and I was feeling torn on whether to post the video until I heard the reporter say you were smiling and laughing. Did you go to the hospital or doctor or anything?
My neck was a little sore but the ridiculous, awesome irony of the situation cushioned the blow pretty well.
What happened to you is, like, my worst nightmare when I think about running in any kind of weather—though, I have to admit I never imagined it would happen on live TV; thanks for the new worst nightmare—so I generally try to avoid running outside unless it's San Diego out. Is there any weather you won't run in?
I actually live in New York (sorry to shatter the otherwise perfectly sculpted Portlandia stereotype, guys), so I'll run whenever it's still actually fun to run. Gently falling snowflakes on a powdery sidewalk? Sure. Freezing rain? Fuck no. Pretty sure anyone who sees it as trying to prove something is seriously over-thinking things.
What were you guys even doing out there in the first place?
We were running just to check out the neighborhood all covered in snow. We had no purpose or destination in mind other than it was really crazy looking outside and we thought it'd be fun to explore.
Also, it was dark. Do you run at night a lot? I think I'm scared of running at night.
You couldn't pay me to wake up early just to go out for a run. I love running but I love not getting out of bed way more. So, yes, I usually run at night because I'm already awake and semi-functional by then.
It's funny watching the clip because as soon as you guys take off, you can see the exact spot where you are going to fall. Did you see it yourself and think you'd better be careful or was it just a total rug-pulled-out-from-under-you moment?
Oh, I had no idea. The ground was really uneven on the hill where they had us standing and my eyes were still splotchy from the light on the camera. We were actually trying to get back to where it was all powdery and soft (the "perfect texture" I'd so over-eagerly described) when I bit it on that patch of ice.
Were you conscious of the cameras trained on you? What were your thoughts immediately after it happened?
I was actually mid-sentence commenting on how awkward the whole thing was when I went down. The whole sequence was just too perfect.
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.
What is the bare minimum length or distance that you will consider "a run"?
I consider a slow, hungover shuffle to get a fried egg sandwich from the nearest bodega a run. Small triumphs, man.
My wife was telling me about these psychopaths who stick tacks in their shoes so they can run in the snow. Will you consider such a strategy in the future?
That sounds like way too much work for something that can already feel like too much work.
You've expressed some regret as to how you came off in the interview which, if we're being fair, is part of the reason the video is so great. You seemed almost...enraptured with the idea of running in the snow. You attribute it to the awkwardness of the whole situation, so how did this all happen?
We ran by this reporter and cameraman who looked like they'd been stuck waiting for something to happen for a while. Given that there were actual cross country skiers in the streets and even a few hardcore cyclists, a pair of runners was probably pretty lame. But maybe we were just the only people who stopped when they called after us.
As for the interview part, I think we both got so serious in front of the camera because we didn't know what to say beyond the obvious fact that it's just fun to play in snow. Apparently that came across as unbearably smug to a lot of people though. We probably should've just yelled WHEEEEE!!! and then somersaulted down the hill.
Let's get to the other half of "we," who has been conspicuously quiet about the whole thing.
Michael is actually one of the kindest, sincerest, and most charmingly earnest people I know so he doesn't get why I'm being so self-deprecating about the whole interview part. I, on the other hand, tend to be a judgmental asshole who would probably make fun of me if I saw this and didn't know me, so my reaction has been mostly an overly self-conscious response to that. He thinks the whole thing is funny and awesome, and keeps reassuring me that we don't sound like tools (but let's be real, we totally do).
Has this gone viral to the point where people—family, friends etc.—have contacted you about it?
Dude, people are coming out of the woodwork. When I called my parents last night, my mom and dad were apparently watching it on repeat and laughing hysterically to themselves.
Aw, man. Even her parents. So cold.
Well, that'll wrap it up. Thank you, Chelsea, for falling so spectacularly and for being such a great sport about it. We're all winners here (us slightly more than you because we didn't fall on TV).