Whilst checking out the March of Dimes car show Saturday, I was reminded of the fascination we Americans have with our methods of transportation. Of course, when I think of travel, danger is the next word to enter my mind.
I don’t think there has been a method of transportation I have taken that didn’t result in some sort of pain on my part, except for maybe airplanes. I have had pretty decent luck with those so far.
Recently I was reminded why my skateboarding career never took off. On Friday, I was goofing around on an old skateboard I used to get around in college. I sustained a couple of minor spills in years past, but a misguided kickturn on an especially slick surface almost took me to concussion town.
My right hip absorbed much of the impact, but then my shoulder and right temple were quickly catapulted to the hard ground. I quickly got back up and started walking around, clutching my head as it got all tingly. I had a headache all weekend and it still kind of hurts to eat chips or chew fresh gum with a hard exterior, but other than the headache and the loss of a few childhood memories I managed to survive my own idiocy this time around.
The close call I had before that felt an awful lot closer, though. It must have been March or April 2010 when I was out of school for spring break and visiting some friends in Amarillo. I spent the night there and woke up in the morning to head north to Pampa and visit my parents.
There had been quite a snowstorm the night before and the roads were slick. I hit a patch of black ice in front of an underpass on Lakeside Drive and sent my car drifting like a figure skater, rotating twice before a highway median slowed my counterclockwise roll.
Upon collision, my soy vanilla latte hit the ceiling and spilled all over me. I will never forget that feeling of weightlessness and helplessness as I was involuntarily submitted to the mercy of physics. For a second there, I had no idea what would become of me. I was too panicked to feel the hot coffee at first.
Luckily enough, no vehicles were within two lanes of mine as I crashed. A nice guy in a truck pulled over to check on me, then I drove to Pampa, missing only my right front blinker. I decided to drive a bit slower for the rest of trip.
With the sheer volume of vehicles on the road, I am surprised that wrecks don’t happen much more often, though they already happen too often for my taste. Here’s to hoping your upcoming travels treat you better than some of mine have treated me. And don’t forget to buckle up and wear a helmet.