Monday, December 30, 2013

The time I almost crushed the entire left side of my body.

Racing back to the park before dark. 
I recently experienced a crazy combination of a giant epiphany mixed with a ginormous miracle mixed with my typical run-of-the-mill everyday badassery. 

Boyfriend acting surprised on the airplane.
I flew down to spend some time in a great part of western Florida, the real Florida: beautiful rivers and a tear-jerkingly gorgeous sunset every night, wildlife that will play with you (manatees) and of course the great people watching. Don't forget the people watching. I have a friend who is working for the park services down there so we stayed right in a nature preserve all day- atvs, kayaking, riding throughout the preserve in the back of a pick up truck. It was totally out of a book. I actually flew down on the plane with boyfriend, who had no idea I was coming with him in the first place-- surprising him randomly in the seat next to him on the airplane in Philadelphia is another story in itself. 

Before we left to come back up to Ohio, I told my friend I would help her move her trailer into its campsite. I had never hitched up, backed in or even driven a trailer for that matter, but I figured it was one of those things everyone should be able to do. I like to toot my parallel parking horn on a weekly basis, so I thought I would take a stab at my trailer skills.

This part of the story isn't the tragedy. In fact, I nailed it. I was pretty damn good. I backed the trailer up and lined it perfectly with its porch my friend had built with pallets and planks. I put the pickup truck at an angle that dodged a big tree and the little electric box for the camper in one beautiful swoop. 

Crystal River, FL in DECEMBER.

Everything was going really well.

Everything was going too well. I had spent enough time in campgrounds with my family's RV to know there wasn't enough yelling going on.

The campsite was at the top of a little mound. We set up the trailer on yellow blocks to level it. I had the truck somewhat jackknifed to avoid the tree, so the trailer and the truck were practically perpendicular. I stood there as we unhitched the pickup from the trailer.

It turned out the hitch had been the only thing holding the trailer up on its blocks. And when the ball and hitch disconnected, the trailer started to fall into the truck right where I was standing. Stuck between the two, I let out a howl. Thank god for adrenaline. And howling. Super strength kicked in and in a blur of a memory I pushed the trailer off of me and fell into my boyfriend. Who, needlessly to say, was freaking out and trying to gauge my injuries with his jaw simultaneously dropped to the ground at the sight of his girlfriend's super strength.

My boyfriend held me up while I kinda made some more howls and realized I was completely fine. I put weight on my leg. Very little pain. I tried to bend it. Sore, but totally fine. There they were! My legs!  I could have just been crushed between a pickup truck and a trailer. But I wasn't. I was fine. 

Five minutes later, I was laying on the couch icing my ass and thanking the good lord for any sort of intervention he may have just had in recent happenings, trying to recall what had just ensued.

I had two thoughts in the second I felt that trailer squish me into the truck: the first was that getting to the hospital and filling out paperwork was going to suck and then we'd be later getting home. The second was that I wouldn't be able to run.  That's when I decided that wasn't going to happen and hulked the shit out of my friend's camper.

I was very lucky that my accident was all that it was. I know that I'm not invincible and that I need to be a little more careful. My reaction time and my coordination isn't good. At all. I'm so thankful that a big bruise and a few days off from the gym were my only consequences. I know it only takes one trailer falling on you and five seconds to forever change people's lives. This is all the more reason that I need to take care of myself - in staying active and eating right - in celebration of my thanks. 

I didn't need a near-hip-crushing experience to tell me that I love being able to work out. Just talk to me on a day I didn't get to and my grumpiness will tell you all you need to know. My body needs to be moving.

I didn't have any tests done or anything confirming, but I am very sure that my injuries were so little because I take such good care of myself. I've got an ass that can take a hit. I box, I squat, I lift weights and I love it a lot. I don't lift a lot of weight. I lift more weight than most women at my age and size, but it isn't anything impressive. [It's really important that women take part in weight-bearing exercise. You won't get huge. You'll lose fat and gain muscle. Your bones will gain the kind of density they need to fight against being squished between trailers and pickup trucks.  Osteoporosis is estimated to affect  200 million women worldwide. And it's pretty preventable.]

Yakin' into an offshoot of the river that probably
has a more technical term than offshoot.
I get really grumpy when I can't work out. I don't know how people live like that. I'd be a completely different person.

The human body was made to exercise. The heart wants to pump harder. The lungs long to breathe, truly breathe. The mind itches to be pushed. The soul craves it.

I love running. It isn't because it is easy for me either. It's because it is really hard. It is hard to get out there and get going. It is hard to wake up before the sun and get out of bed and put on my running tights and other cold-weather running gear. It is really hard to look out the window and ignore pouring rain and tie my shoes that have holes in the toes, knowing they'll be squishy and heavy and sopping wet. It is hard to not cuddle back into bed and snooze for another hour. 

But once you walk out to the street. Once you're out on that road, you've passed the test. You've made it past the hardest part. Push yourself to what you can do and be proud that you got out there, no matter how far or fast you go. My biggest motivator is the look on the faces of the people in cars that pass me on a snowy day. "Look at that idiot trying to run in this shit!" 

Everybody has to find their own fitness muse. Some people are built to lift absurd amounts of weight. Some people are made to cover absurd amounts of miles. Some people can dance the crap out of their Zumba shoes. I think I'm lucky because I've found a passion for most things, and I don't get too down if I'm really horrible at it. (The only thing I don't like is volleyball. I just don't care enough to sacrifice my body for a ball. Also, ouch forearms.) There is no way you don't have enough time for your health. Because you know what nobody has time for? Being sick all of the time. Give me that excuse and I'll show you my schedule. If you fall in love with something, you'll make time for it. You just haven't found it yet. 

In the end, I am thankful for my strong bones and muscles. I am thankful that I never sick and that soda tastes gross to me. I'm thankful for the people in my life who live for adventure and I can't wait to see where my body takes me next. 

Also, that trailer can kiss my butt.

1 comment:

  1. Whoa, you do kayaking, like the whole day long? I once do that and it left me with bruises and unable to lift up spoon for a week.