Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Why I Don't Skydive...

Before I get into this post, I have to show you a couple of definitions that are very important.

1.      Clumsy (adjective) Done awkwardly or without skill or elegance.

2.      Accident-prone (adjective) Having a greater than average number of accidents or mishaps.
I feel certain that after you have finished reading, you will agree that I fall into the category of the second definition, not the first.

It started in early childhood.  I cracked my head open sledding down a hill on one of those extremely dangerous metal saucers. Apparently, you should not lie in them in a fetal position. This was before safety warnings. Any time I was placed on a stool, I would fall off backwards. Another hazard no home should have. One Christmas morning, I fell down an entire flight of stairs. Cause: A deadly combination of pajamas with feet in them and carpeted stairs. Add Christmas morning exuberance and you have a cocktail for disaster.
As an adult, the “accidents” continued. Most of the time I stayed safely indoors, but every year, we would go on a vacation (I can’t even say the word without shuddering). One year, while in Florida, we decided our second child was old enough to play miniature golf. We gave her some basic instructions as she stood ready at Hole 1. She swung. The next thing I knew, the world went black. Apparently, our little girl, who has always been an overachiever, took a full swing, hitting my sunglasses, which I was wearing on my face at the time.  I spent the rest of our trip with black and blue circles around each eye.

A year or so later, someone in my family decided it would be fun to go inner-tubing down a river. We got on a bus which dropped us off, inner-tubes and all, upriver. My son got in first. Then, it was my turn. My husband volunteered to be tethered to my daughter, so he could keep an eye on her. We were promised a relaxing ride. Because my son and I were lighter, we drifted quite ahead of the group. Just when I started to relax, I saw a two foot drop ahead of us. I watched my son go over it with ease. As I think back on what happened next, I believe I panicked at the last second and tried to grab a rock. The river didn’t like that and swallowed me up. I went head first into the cold mountain stream. The current was too strong for me to stand, so I bobbed up and down getting mouthfuls of water each time. I managed to get to one side and climbed the embankment. My shoes and sunglasses were gone.
I had no choice but to get back in the inner-tube, my only mode of transportation back to civilization. As our ride came to an end, my son stood up, big smile on his face, and said “Look, Mom, I rescued your shoes!” Sure enough, he had scooped them up as they floated by. When my husband finally arrived, I asked him why he didn’t come to my rescue. My daughter informed me that when I capsized, my husband told her “Hey, that lady just flipped over!” and my daughter had to tell him “DAD, that was MOM!!!” That’s when I realized the man who was keeping an “eye” on our daughter was completely blind without his glasses.
Over the years, I was chased by bees on a hike and went over a cliff, I fell off a surfboard and then got smacked with it in the face, I flipped over on an ATV and got pinned, I rolled off the back of a snowmobile, I was in the front seat of a small plane, when my door flew open at several thousand feet, and if you are a regular reader, you know I broke my collarbone walking the dog.

So, I’m sure you will agree that I am accident-prone. We can rule out clumsy, because I fall, dive, and trip, with great elegance.
Oh yeah, one more thing…yes, I live in Colorado, but don’t ask me if I ski.