(I guess trigger warnings are a thing, so I’ll go with them…)
So, a week ago, the family and I were at a state park, celebrating a high school graduation. As part of the festivities, we rented a canoe. I had the wife and kids out for an hour on the lake with no problems, but had difficulties getting the canoe back out of the water and onto shore.
As I struggled to get the boat ashore, I found a spot of un-rounded aluminum sheeting under the seat, with a sharp enough edge to open up two of my fingertips. When I finally decided to unclench my fist and check the damage, blood started pouring from one of my fingertips like something from a horror movie or a hardcore wrestling match. I haven’t bled like that since I slammed a car door on my finger… or since I opened up my scalp hitting my head on the ceiling. (Both great stories to tell, btw!) There was actually blood dripping from my elbow where the multiple streams of blood collected.
As impressive as that was, it was also like a chum bucket for all the deer flies in the area. I started trying to shoo them away from the injured arm, but had to stop after I realized I was flicking blood everywhere :p The fingers injury is basically healed up as of today – no stitches needed (unlike the car door story), just bandages and time. So today I decided to try something different.
Today, we were celebrating our family’s August birthdays at my sister’s place. They have a golf cart for getting around the property, and I was tagging along with my 14 year old daughter while she drove it. At one point, I decided I would see if I could keep pace running alongside the cart, since it didn’t seem to go that fast.
My first mistake was trying to hold on to the cart as I ran, as it almost pulled me off my feet when she goosed the gas. I let go to keep my feet, and the cart pulled in front of me.
My second mistake was deciding that I could catch up and hop back on. My running might have improved a lot this year, and I’m definitely stronger physically, but there was no way I was getting back into the passenger seat while it was in motion.
My FINAL mistake was thinking I could hop onto the back of the cart.
I DID manage to catch up to the cart, I DID manage to get both hands onto it… but I did NOT manage to get my feet up onto the back of the cart.
Now, picture, if you will: a golf cart, tooling down a gravel road in the evening sunlight. A overweight 45 year old man, hanging from the back of said cart. The stirring strains of Indiana Jones’ theme music playing in his head as he kicks up a cloud of dust while being dragged behind said golf cart…
and then picture that music lasting about two seconds, until his hip catches a bump in the road and jars his hands loose.
There was a small but definite *pop* in my chest as my shoulder and left arm made contact with the ground. Despite knowing that the best thing to do in this situation is to roll to spread out the energy and impact, I just sort of skidded to a stop, and then flopped over at the end. I actually managed to tear a hole in the knee of my (favorite) jeans with that stunt. Other than that and some scrapes on my elbow and soreness in my knee, I seemed to be okay.
Of course, as I piled into the cart and we drove back, the adrenaline started wearing off, and I realized that I didn’t come out as well as I thought. My knee was scraped up pretty good, even through the jeans, and my chest was hurting more. This progressed to the point of “I might actually need to see a doctor” as we were getting ready to leave. An hour and a half of driving later, we arrived at home, and the pain had progressed to my shoulder. The chest itself felt a bit better, but whether that’s due to rest and (relative) immobility, or pain meds, it’s hard to say.
There’s still no swelling or other outward indicators of serious injury, so I’m just going to treat it as strained muscles for tomorrow and see how things turn out. And as I said on Twitter, I believe I can now safely say that I’m too old for that kind of shit.