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.