“If Red breaks that leg again,” Howard said soberly, “it will cripple him for life.” Alexander told him that maybe it was better to break a man’s leg than his heart.”
Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand
I increase my pace. In my head the blood in my veins pumps audibly. My chest burns. I love the sense of freedom that running (or rather a good run) can offer. I watch The Adjustment Bureau on the small screen. Matt Damon and Emily Blunt dash across a busy New York street. On the treadmill to my right, a man in his 60’s slaps his stomach intermittently as he runs. Is he trying to spur himself on? Is he literally smacking away the tummy fat? Does he like the sound of it? I try not to pay too much attention to him. He’s also pushing his body.
I think how grateful I am for a healthy, relatively fit body.
I think of Hubby and the fateful fishing weekend.
“I’m not interested in what happened,” said my Husband “It’s what didn’t happen that’s infinitely more important.”
But you do want to know, right?
We drove to Hull for a long weekend – a boys’ fishing weekend. It also entailed driving my Mama up north with her luggage (filled with gifts) to spend time with her only grandchildren. An added bonus was some girl-time while the men were away.
Day 1 of fishing was at a difficult-to-reach, sheltered bay near Whitby. It had rained over night and the men had to access the sea by way of a steep escarpment of scree and rocks. A considerate fisherman must have, at some time, set up a guide rope to make this coveted spot more accessible. It was while carefully making their way down this embankment that the rope that Hubby was relying on heavily, suddenly snapped!
He fell 2 metres onto a jagged rock below.
I was in the cinema watching Toy Story 4 (2019) when I received the call that Hubby had “fallen down a cliff”.
I confess that Woody and Buzz’s adventures in that film are a blur to me now. I’ll have to ask one of my nieces what terrific scrapes those toy pals got out of in round 4.
I do know this. The scrape that Hubby got out of that day, was nothing less than a miracle.
Later that night, to hear my brother describe the accident as-it-were in slow, minute detail (with my Ibuprofen-ed-up Hubby now safely lying in bed beside me), the fall, the landing, the fainting and falling again, the life-saving catch by Hubby’s cousin, the debilitating back spasms, the coast guards, paramedics, ambulance ride and tests at Middlesborough Hospital, was to breathe a deep thankful breath.
“You nearly became a widow today, Babes,” Hubby whispered to me as he dosed off that night.
I’m pleased to report that Hubby is no longer experiencing back spasms. Middlesborough hospital performed many tests on him and they found no broken bones, no spine damage, no head trauma. His thigh (now colourful and getting better) took the brunt of the impact and is the only visible sign of that crazy day – apart from a broken fishing rod.
P.s. I’m back into regular running now because of an uncharacteristic, ridiculous competitive streak (week), which came out of me from nowhere, spurred on by a Fitbit challenge from some American friends – I couldn’t let my country down.
P.p.s. Now that I’m running regularly again, I’m able to secure my one lifetime fitness goal – to be able to run for the bus or run away from a dinosaur without getting out of breath!