Were you a bit of a Tomboy as a child? Did you climb the occasional tree and compete in racing matches with the neighbor’s dog? Yes, yes, me too! I bet you also agree that if it weren’t for the grace of God and our parental admonishments, many of us would have been seriously maimed for life … or even dead. I have to admit that I was one bold young girl and always up for a dare which my cousins were eager to provide.
Back then, TV was not a priority at all. We went to school, did our homework, read a comic or a few pages in a book and then spent the rest of the afternoon gallivanting around the neighborhood playing games and being a nuisance… at least, that’s what some people said. We played hide and seek, pseudo shot-put tossing, hurdles, tree climbing and occasionally a version of pole vaulting… yes, that sport.
The question this week is:
Have you ever broken any bones? If so when, where and how. If not, I want to know how you have been so lucky!!!
When I read Redhead Riter’s prompt above for this week, I winced and flashed back to the day, at age 7, when I broke my left leg on a stupid dare. Yes, Redhead Riter, I was an idiot in need of a wake-up call and that nasty little event taught me a sound lesson; do not imitate an Olympic athlete if you have had no prior training…
I loved the outdoors growing up and once my family moved back to Lagos, I had cousins and the children of our new family friends around to play with. We played typical childhood games and sports; ball games, card games, chasing each other up and down the street, ring-around-the-roses and other inventive creative theater that popped into our heads.
We also entertained each other by horsing around and getting the neighbor’s dog to compete in the equivalent of a 100 meter dash with us. The dog was smart and played along but sometimes, if we overtook him, he would get aggressive and snip at our ankles. He didn’t like to lose!
|This not our home...Ours had a terrace|
The Day of the Accident
On that fateful day, I was with my usual crew; a group of girls and boys who loved sports and thought they had Olympic potential. I say that now but back then, we just loved to push ourselves to our physical limits and show off how strong we were. Mind you, there was no violence involved. We simply raced each other, climbed trees, jumped fences and yes… that pole vault incident.
There was a six foot concrete wall that separated our side by side two family duplex home from the next door neighbors’. On my side of the wall, lived my family in one duplex, and an American diplomatic family next door. We shared a common backyard and since they had an older child (a daughter I recall), they gave us full rein to play on their side of the backyard.
The neighbors on the other side of the wall didn’t like nosy or noisy children and would often threaten to throw buckets of water at us. We didn't like them either and playing by the wall was our way to make them mad. The day of the accident, we fashioned a pole from a branch that had snapped off a nearby tree. The goal was NOT to vault over the neighbors wall but up to the edge and then bounce off the wall… yeah, really dumb and dangerous. A couple of kids tried it and had shaky landings but no one was hurt.
The Actual Accident
When it was my turn, I figured why stop, just vault over the wall, land on the other side and then run back into the yard. I sprang forward with tree pole in hand, vaulted into the air, heard the tree branch snap in two, and went hurtling across the wall, landing back in my yard as I, flailing arms and legs, attempted to break my fall with my left leg. I heard a loud snap and fell backwards in excruciating pain. I had fractured my femur and broken my tibia in my left leg in half. I screamed so loudly; half the street came running over. An ambulance was called and I spent the next six months in an itchy full leg cast.
Every few weeks or so, I hobbled over to the hospital with my mom to have my leg massaged and my cast adjusted or replaced. It wasn’t fun at all. At least, when I fell off a tree and broke my arm, my friends drew pictures and wrote silly notes on my arm cast. My leg cast was heavy, painful, and a constant irritant. I couldn’t go out and play and I even had to miss school a few times. I learned my lesson alright and in case you’ve forgotten…
Yep! Do not imitate an Olympic pole vault athlete if you have had no prior training… What bone did you break as a child? What’s your broken bone story?
Bones photo via Wikipedia
Home photo via Houseplan Shop
Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©