Chad and I volunteered a couple of times at an area-wide lock-in night for the church youth groups in Lubbock. These events had basketball, soccer, racquetball, a mechanical bull, a rock-climbing wall, and all sorts of bouncy inflated things.
|This is not me.|
Including one of these. The players are tethered to the back wall with a bungee cord, and the idea is to stick your little velcroed marker as far up on the strip in the middle as you can. Whoever gets farther forward wins. The guy in charge of this event had a best-of-three thing going, meaning each pair did the run three times.
|He wasn't wearing the hat when we|
raced on the bouncy thing.
So, this nice young man asked me if I wanted to go up against him. Now, I realise this sounds like a totally unfair contest, what with me being a runner and all, but I assure you, we were fairly closely matched. (Oh, and by the way, remember Kate? Who guest blogged a couple of weeks ago? This kid is hers.)
I joked that this little exercise ought to count for at least a half-mile of training, and I gotta say, running on those bouncy things is work. I think I went from "half-mile" to "mile" pretty quickly.
Anyway. The referee guy yelled "Go!", and Little Weasley and I took off. I'm not normally a sprinter, but I decided to make an exception this time and I ran as hard as I could, determined to leave this 11-year-old in the dust. It wasn't long before I could feel the bungee tugging me back, so I made a final lunge to stick my marker on the dividing wall before I went flying backwards through the air to land softly on the bouncy thing. Weasley & I got up and the referee declared me the winner; I was delighted and Weasley was horrified.
My glasses had parted company with my face while I was flying through the air, so after I found them, I handed them to the referee when he returned our markers for Round 2. It's not like I needed them to see where I was going; I was on a great big bouncy thing with only one direction to run.
The referee yelled "Go!" again for Round 2, and I hurled myself down the runway again, planted my marker, and was yanked back once more. This time, Little Weasley was declared a winner, and he did a victory dance (well, victory stumble; we were on a bouncy thing) while I complained about the effects of a bungee-jerk upon my 30-year-old ligaments. Specifically, the ligaments keeping my head attached to my body. I was getting whiplash. The referee said that every adult who had been on it had said the same thing; I'm kind of surprised that we didn't have a neck brace convention at church the next Sunday.
So, Little Weasley and I were tied at one each. He gave me the nice-church-kid version of trash talk, "You're goin' down!", that sort of thing. So I gave him the mean-church-adult version back; "I don't think so, scrawny!"
"Go!" yelled the referee. We took off, dashing down the runway as hard as we could, both out for blood. I could feel the cord tugging me back, so I sped up, reached as far as my teeny arms would allow, planted my left foot and my marker-- and felt something pop in my ankle when the cord yanked me back. Suddenly, all fun evaporated.
I don't remember what I was training for at the time-- I suspect it was a 15K-- but I know I was training for something, and in that moment all the injury horror stories that I'm always reading came flooding through my head, and I hurled backwards through the air thinking, "Oh, no, oh, no, oh, no."
The referee declared Little Weasley the winner by about half an inch, and he did a victory dance all the way back down the runway. I tried to take a step, my ankle hurt immediately, and I was terrified that I had, in a moment of madness, thrown away my next race.
So instead of walking, I hopped to the end of the bouncy thing, collected my glasses from the referee, and picked up my shoes. Little Weasley was continuing his dance of joy, and I wasn't about to ruin the moment for him by telling him that I was hurt. I waited until he ran off to go dominate something else to hobble over to the other adults who had been watching this little display of Su thinking she was still a teenager.
They were all mums, of course, so they immediately recognised the hobble and asked if I were injured. I said, "I don't know, but my ankle popped and it hurts." And one of them asked, "Will that keep you from running your next race?" (They know me so well at South Plains. I wish they had moved to Austin with us en masse.)
I was not hurt, fortunately, so my training was not interrupted. Well, no more than it normally would be for a 30-year-old distance runner who voluntarily skipped a night of sleep and raced an 11-year-old Weasley impersonator.
And so that I don't feel alone: Share a story of a time when you, erm, misjudged your own ability to do something.