The Scenic Route: Day 5

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When the Earth smacked me in the face.

A true story. 

I went to fist and second grade at Sunset Elementary in Edmund, Oklahoma from Fall of 1978 to Summer 1980. There was a great playground for recess with chin-up bars and a Jungle gym. 

One day, I think it was first grade, I saw two kids hanging upside down by their knees from some pull-up bars. I watched as they swung back and forth and then suddenly, flipped and landed on their feet. I thought this was the coolest thing ever. I wanted to do it, too, and I had absolutely no doubt I could do it. I saw myself doing it in my head. 

Next thing I remember, I’m hanging from my knees upside down, gently swinging back and forth. Then I went for it, I swung as hard as I could and straightened out my legs, and fell to the ground. I can still see the patch of worn away grass under the chin-up bar as it slammed into my face. I was wearing overalls and the metal clasps dug into my chest. I was so shocked that I really didn’t know what happened. I had a hard time breathing and the two kids approached tentatively to see if I was okay. I stood up as best I could and brushed off the dirt and pretended I was fine. I was lucky I didn’t snap my neck.

This was when the Earth decided to show me, in no uncertain terms, that there was a “me” in my head that had way more confidence than by body could match. In my mind, I could do anything, but my body says, “hold my beer,” and performs like a drunk frat boy.

© 2014