Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Wipe Out

Racing down the hill, charging towards the jump, pedalling as fast as my little legs would allow I headed towards a moment that would remain with me for the rest of my life.

Of the group of kids in my back yard that day I was the only one who had dared to soar. My old, home made bike had flown and every one was in awe. We had been riding and jumping all morning, the jump consisted of cinder blocks and a strip of plywood. We had plenty of cinder blocks but only one piece of plywood.

As the morning wore on the pile of cinder blocks under the plywood increased. We started with one, everybody made it, everybody got comfortable. We added another block, everyone flew, smiles and high fives all around. The third block began to cull the herd, only a few dared to fly that high. The take off was getting steeper and the resulting airtime was getting big.

We had one more cinder block left and I decided to go for it. The jump was a little off and would later be described as a four cinder block jump with a three cinder block ramp. I approached cautiously and made a nice jump. Everyone was pumped, Jason told me to try his bike. His bike was a brand new BMX bike that everyone was envious of, I couldn't wait to get that bike off the ground. Just before take off my foot slipped from the peddle, I looked down and tried to adjust. I launched off the ramp, flew past the safe landing area and smashed into the pavement.

I remember running towards the back door of my house holding my arm. When I got to the kitchen my mother got a look at my arm and exclaimed, "Peter, you broke your arm!" "No I didn't Mom, look I can move my fingers." "Yes you did, I can see the bones".

She wrapped my arm in one of my youngest brothers clothe diapers and called the ambulance. I had a double compound fracture of my right arm, I was a Hero, everybody in the neighborhood and town was aware of my high flying bravery. The crowd that watched me wheel out of my front door and into the ambulance cheered.

I was in fifth grade, 10 years old and received my first serious injury. I got a four in penmanship, equivalent of a D, which was crazy because I am right handed and was writing with my left. I learned to do all types of things with my left hand that year.

To this day when I roll my right wrist it snaps and pops. The scar where the the pieces of bone broke through the skin still remain. What scars will my children carry? Will they be daredevils or smart? I wouldn't change taking that jump, I would change the landing.

I did not learn from this accident, I had many run ins with "sudden deceleration syndrome" before and I had many more after. The love for speed and airtime stayed with me and have cost me. I hope my children have this same love, I just hope they are smarter about it and that it does not exact the same price from them that it has from me.

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Blogger Mamacita Tina said...

What a great memory! What a great wish for your kids!

11:07 PM EST  
Blogger Mick Brady said...

Way to go, man. If you don't hold back when you're young and everything is still possible, you never lose that smile and a certain twinkle in the eye; your inner child will be forever grateful. Here's to boys who want to learn how to fly.

11:15 AM EST  

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