Thursday Thoughts V: Sticks & Stones & Broken Bones

"To live in this world, you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go."
Mary Oliver

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.

Tell The Truth Thursday

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… 

Some Background
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. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank


  1. I was a huge Tom Boy! I was always the first to stand up against the boys and foolishly take them on. I must say I could hold my own. And yes, we stayed outside from morning to late at night. It seems like kids hardly even go outside now.

    I am your newest follower through Follow Friday.

    I hope you have a great evening.

    The Zibits are really cool! I know the cat really enjoyed it. Nice to see a fellow Arkansan. Not born and raised here but have been for ten years now.

    I am following you through Follow Friday. I hope you have a great evening.


  2. Never broke a bone! i was not a dare devil....Cool blog!
    I am doing the blog hop and finding new bloggers. Newest follower of yours. Come see me and follow me back!

  3. The lessons we learn when we're young seem to be the hardest...yikes broken bones at seven - you were a dare devil. I was to, but I never got hurt for some reason. Hello! I'm your newest follower from the Friday blog hop and I'm so glad I found your blog. Hope you'll come visit and follow my blog too. I'd like it if we got to be blogging buddies. Thanks!

  4. Omgosh what a terrible break - but I can imagine doing the same thing as a kid. Personally never broken anything and I am hoping that it stays that way.

  5. I fractured my arm when I was four. I was playing "Follow the Leader" with my neighbor. He jumped off the back of the glider swing, so I did. I didn't land on my feet. I think that was the end of any Tomboy I had in me... total girlie-girl after that!

  6. Hey I'm your newest follower from FMBT, I only once fractured my thumb.... but thats about it...

    Hope you get a chanse to stop by my blog too :)



  7. Good advice Elizabeth. I never brook something yet either, but the way my life is now I can hardly brake a leg or it has to be from sitting behind or in front of my computer.(lol)Or from walking the dog.
    I have to move more, I feel it when I do have to walk for a long time, and cover some distance I can feel I'm getting older.The feeling I had when going up the stairs has changed, since I'm using supplements which make me feel more vital again.

    Today I've seen an article in the local newspaper about extraordinary speed runners like Usane Bolt, the World and /or Olimpic Champion. I'll go read that article tonight.

    Enjoy the weekend.

  8. Thank you all for your comments. I appreciate the feedback and will stop by to say hello back. Childhood can be both fun and full of falls. Good thing is we picked ourselves up and kept playing.
    Thank you Haupi for your invite. You didnt leave your blog address.
    Have a great weekend all!

  9. I must have had the same delusions of grandeur as I broke my arm doing a cartwheel off a balance beam at a school park when I was 5.

  10. Oops, I meant to say that I'm here from Lamb Around!

  11. one of the lucky few... never broken a bone =D hihi

  12. Hi,

    Following you from Mom Bloggers Club!

    I hope you'll comment and follow back! :-)


  13. Thanks for the visit at 2 Boys +1Girl=OneCrazyMom following you back on GFC


  14. Too late to tell? I turn 50 next week, and I have yet to break a bone. I'm not sure why I've been so blessed, but I'm not going to question it!


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