Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Dramatic Race - Traumatic Race

Back in my younger days, I was not very athletic. Having a brother five years older and a sister six years older, I was pretty much left in the dust with my wimpy muscles and scraggily legs. Last place was my place in most of the races, and I had developed a good-natured attitude about it. I remember two races that had an impact on my life. One of them was dramatic and the other was traumatic. I will share these stories with you.
I will talk about the dramatic race first. It involved the new neighbors in the valley. They had a daughter named "Gina" who was the same age as me. When the neighbors came over to introduce themselves and saw my siblings and I involved in a race, Gina jumped right in.

She could not beat my brother and sister. The laws of physics dictated that she had to lose. Slightly peeved, she dared me to a race. I shrugged my shoulders and the relay track was set. It would be a short sprint. We would start at the plum tree, run parallel with the grapevines up to the crab apple tree, then turn around and head back. It was maybe a total of 28 feet.

My sister volunteered to do the countdown and to judge. After a Ready-Set-Go, my legs churned with Gina sprinting beside me. We made it to the crab apple tree, turned around without slipping on the slick grass, and raced back.

I lost the first time. Gina was thrilled. She hopped in place and pumped her fists. She asked to race again. I shrugged my shoulders in okay.

We flew off on our second lap. By some miraculous power, I pulled ahead and won that time. Laughter burst out my mouth in sheer surprise over the outcome. Gina came over to me, huffing. She wanted to have one more race as a tiebreaker. Since I was having fun, I agreed.

Gina and I ran our last race for the evening. It was neck-and-neck when we crossed over the imaginary finish line. In fairness, my sister declared it a draw.

Gina threw a fit. She ranted and raved. Her feet stomped the grass. She screamed at my sister in front of her embarrassed parents."I won! I was a mile ahead of Michelle! You are just cheating because she is your sister!"

Well, Gina obviously knew nothing about my family. The term "loyalty" would not be found in this household. As my father has so eloquently put it, "This isn’t the Wonder Years." His statement was in reference to the television show where the sitcom family spends quality time together, talking and hugging and enjoying each other’s company. This was pure hogwash in my parents’ opinion.

My sister was never on my side when she said the race was a tie. She was only stating the facts.

Gina would hear none of it. She ran off while her parents apologized for her behavior. They headed back to their home. Two hours later, the phone rang: "Hello, have you seen Gina? She isn’t here at the house and we checked everywhere. Could you look on your property for her?"

With flashlights in hands, my siblings and I searched our five acres for the missing girl. We did not find Gina on our land, but the neighbors discovered that she had went to their horse stables a quarter mile up the road. Everything was all right now.
So ended a very dramatic race. As for the traumatic race which forced me go to the hospital, you can read about it here. Yet the link will take you to another website. So be aware in case you want to continue browsing this blog, although I can't understand why.


  1. Gina was way too competitive! Good for you for having the heart to beat her the second time around!

    I checked out your piece "Hazy Day" a while back, but as I read it again it brought back memories of about five years ago with my daughter. She slipped on the side of our pool and fell in but not before her chin came straight down on the side of the concrete. I was right there, saw it happened and could not move fast enough. Her chin, underneath, split right open and I mean wide open. I had never seen anything like that before, it was like someone had taken a sharp knife and split the skin. Her head snapped back and I thought she had broken her neck. She had two friends over at the time swimming also. I jumped in and used the towel I had on me and wrapped it around her head (by then she was moving her head and screaming so I knew her neck was okay) picked her up and we got into the car, driving way over the speed limit (her friends kept pressure on the towel) to get to the hospital. She now has a nice scar under her chin.

    I didn't get any scars until I reached adulthood. So I've been pretty lucky. Sounds like you had a concussion also, do you remember if anyone mentioned anything like that?

  2. Oh, to heck with Gina. I can tell, from way over here, that the race was a draw :-)

    As for the other one, I agree with Sandra. Maybe a concussion. Lucky for us, perhaps. Maybe it shook up your head in just the right way for you to write these posts for us :-)

  3. Sandra: Scary story about your daughter. I'm so happy things turned out all right. Yeah, I've got a scar also, right in the middle of my forehead.

    Suldog: You must have eagle eyes to see that, especially since the race was over eighteen years ago. Incredible.

    As for the concussion: no one every mentioned anything to me (no surprise there.) But I realized when writing that story that I must had gotten one; a good one for me to wake up shivering on the cement step only to then black out again at the hospital.

    A concussion caused my wacky self? Cool!


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