I’m addicted to the next challenge and taking calculated risks. So it is with inherent risk that I venture out into the world. I get asked repeatedly “how did you do that” or “are you crazy”? My retort is always “why not? You only live once and if you do it right, once should be enough”.
The list of injuries is rather long but, fortunately, only one left me in complete shambles. The rest are just another story to share and learn from (at least I think).
How could I ever forget maneuvering my bike into a teeter totter and falling off halfway across while having the jagged edge of the metal, pedal cut into my Achilles? I was so pig headed, I made a deal with my friend that if she bought the new bike she had been obsessing about that I would go to the hospital to get stitches.
I vaguely remember visiting a roller skating rink as a teen and trying to go faster than everyone else. Then rounding a corner I was faced with a big group and nowhere to go safely. So instead of plowing into the group and possibly injuring others, I opted to slide (like a softball player) into the concrete outer ring barrier. Needless to say, I still can’t feel the inner part of my left knee.
What about tubing behind a boat on a FL west coast vacation and refusing to let go so that the rope burned my skin and my bracelet dug into my right hand?
On a quick mountain biking adventure to a new trail in north Orlando, I was scoping out the perfect spot to take a picture of my friend rounding a hairy corner. I got so excited I grabbed a razor sharp piece of a bush/plant and sliced right at the last knuckle of my left pinky. I pushed the two sides together the rest of the ride while completely soaking my shirt that I had wrapped around it and just hoped they would mend back into one piece. Then just two weeks later at a different park, I took a turn too sharp and flipped over the handle bars. I don’t remember much but I think I saw a few stars while I tried to regain any sense of self confidence to continue the journey.
Getting ready for a business trip to Cincinnati, I had wanted to take a soothing bath after a long week at work. I let the water run while scrambling to pack last minute and of course forgot. When I see water coming through the downstairs ceiling light, I bolted upstairs to shut off the water then fly down the stairs again to mop up the other mess. As I get to the second bathroom, I slip and fell head first into the door and catch my right hand sliding down the rough edge. I was in too much of a hurry to go to the hospital so I wrapped it up thick and went on my trip (and proceeded to lose my only bag & have to borrow clothes from a colleague – definitely looked like a hot mess).
Deep in the Ecuador jungle, I had a terrible problem with my hiking shoes slipping while scrambling along the boulders lining the many streams crossings on our journey. I would twist my ankles 25-30 times a day, which really messed with my head and pace. The slippery moss was insane and, needless to say, I recycled those shoes to a local who was glad to have them (it couldn’t have been me who was the issue, right??!!)
After summiting Annapurna Base Camp in Nepal after 6 days of trekking up high into the majestic Himalayas, we were all slowly making our way back down the mountain and I severely twisted my ankle on a complex root system. Being that we were still 1 full day of hiking away from any type of civilization, I wrapped it up tight, grabbed a walking stick for support and just had to “suck it up”. And of course, my pace significantly slowed down BUT we all made it down in one piece.
I may or may not have had a few drinks before jumping on my bicycle and crashing into a bollard that slashed my right ankle so deep we saw white tissue and literally had millimeters before slicing my tendon. Nothing a few friends (with incredible patience to put up with my ridiculous antics) and butterfly strips can’t fix.
On my 2 day trip to Death Valley National Park, I car camped to stay right in the heart of this rugged landscape. I added a short trek into a slot canyon and was just taking a photo, when I slipped off my pedestal and my ankle collapsed onto its side. Wow. All alone in the arid desert and I just had to sit there for about 15 minutes to collect myself. After a painful hobble back to my car, I spent the night with 2 cold sodas cradling my ankle and fortunately woke up the next day to just a severe bruise and a spectacular sunrise!
And the most recent and granddaddy of them all…… I’ll never live down my skateboard incident on my dream trip to Hawaii while trying to see my nightly sunset spectacle. Concussion was a very real possibility, as I face planted and my sunglasses dug into my forehead (and somehow they miraculously didn’t break). Stitches probably would have been the better call, but I got on my rented bike to go get medical supplies at the closest convenience store 3 miles away. Seven scars later, and all are healing nicely (even my forehead).
So I always make a promise to myself that next time I will play it safer, BUT deep down I know there will most likely be another one to fight through soon.
“Never be ashamed of a scar. It simply means you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you.” – unknown