Life

The Race with a Bang!

Writing about cardio yesterday got me thinking about the good ol’ track and field days at school. I used to get so nervous beforehand, though I did enjoy the competition. There were a couple of years that I was decently good. Our team did relay at our regional and then county meets.

It’s fun now working at a school to see the kids train for the big day. Everyone is running a little more at recess. Kids are jumping on the grass practicing their long jump. Unfortunately that won’t be the case this year though.

It’s amazing how we like to challenge ourselves. Often children instantly go big in their minds. If I train really hard, maybe I’ll make the Olympics. I love big dreamers. Hey, if athletes didn’t push themselves, train hard, and dream big, we wouldn’t have the Olympics.

Well, back to my childhood days. There was a group of us girls training for our track and field meet. We had a great year beforehand and we wanted even better results.

We paired ourselves up and decided to run races during recess. One girl stood at the end of the line. She stretched her arms out and yelled, “Ready, set, go”!

My friend Jessica and I dashed off. We gave it our all. She held my speed well. I tried not to look over, remembering that would slow me down. “Look forward Rachel. Watch your form. Pump your legs. You’ve got this”!

We neared the finish line. Shawna, the girl at the end of the line dropped her arms when Jessica reached the end. In the split-second difference, I couldn’t slow down my speed. BANG!

I woke up on the ground curled up in the fetal position. My one hand holding my knee. My other holding my head. There was a crowd surrounding me and a teacher pushed through the centre to see what had happened.

I had run right into the corner of a brick wall and a steel door. Silly girls, we decided to end the race at the building, not start the race there. I tried to build up so much momentum while running that I didn’t have time to turn or slow down at the end. For some reason, I thought Shawna’s arm would catch me, but she dropped it just before.

The students heard the bang, saw me drop, and all came running over. Thankfully, I don’t think I hit my head (that time!). However, I did think I had broken my knee cap or something. It was excruciatingly painful.

The staff at the school were kind. They got me a wheelchair and phoned my Dad to come get me. I was going to be useless the rest of the day. They thought I should get my knee checked.

If you know my Dad, he’s used to pain. He’s had back problems for years and has learned to deal with it. He’s had multiple accidents with pretty bad injuries. He was also a farmer and volunteer firefighter. Needless to say, he is pretty tough when it comes to pain.

He came to get me. He took a look at my knee while I was sitting in the wheelchair. He got my belongings and said, “come on, let’s go”. He helped me to the car and took me home.

The first thing he had me do when I got home was “walk it off”. I didn’t break it, so I should be good to go, right? How do you recover? You grin and bear it.

Though I was certainly in pain and was not a fan of my Dad at that moment, he was right. Once the initial height of pain passed, it was mostly very bruised and tender. I went back to school the next day with one crutch to use if needed.

You know, that mentality that I learned early in life has transformed into a lot of areas of my life. When the hard hits and I want to wallow in my self-pity, I often learn to “walk it off”. “This too shall pass”. So, Dad, thanks for the hard lesson learned.

Time to start walking again and building up that cardio in my race of life.

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