Wabeno Travel Blog› entry 2 of 6 › view all entries
2.) Burn my walker or at least smash the crap out of it
When I was in 6th grade, I decided to take my friends up on their offer of going skiing at Paul Bunyan, the local ski hill. It was only my 3rd time ever skiing and I was doing really well that day. I left my ski poles at the bottom of the bunny hill after one run, and decided to hit up the intermediate and expert hills. (If you just did the math, yes, there were only 3 hills!) With time only left to take one more run, my friends wanted to hit up the bunny hill so we could pick up our poles at the bottom, but I convinced everyone that we should do the intermediate hill “one more time.” I had only fallen 3 times that day and was getting a bit cocky. From that moment on, it’s a blur. I remember heading down the hill and I remember landing hard. The bindings on my skis didn’t release and when I tried to sit up, I heard a crack. I recall looking over to Denny running the T-bar and screaming for him to get help. My friends skied past laughing. I’m pretty sure I said some not nice things. Next thing I know, I’m in ski shed and some lady who knew my stepmom’s late brother would not shut up talking about him. They told me that I had bruised my thigh and if I was lucky, I’d get to miss a couple days of school. My dad came and picked me up and they put me in the backseat of the car. We took the half hour ride home via some pretty bumpy roads. When we got home, my stepmom came out to help get me into the house. I was crying when they grabbed me by my arms and legs. “Stop being such a baby,” my mom said. They laid me out on a bench in the kitchen and began to access the damage. “Oh !@#$%^ Russ, it’s broken, call the ambulance!”
So yeah, that bruised thigh I supposedly had was really a broken femur. Back in 1993, medical technology left me with a leg hanging in traction for a month in the hospital. That was followed up by 3 months in a full body cast, confined to the pullout couch downstairs. Since the cast weighed more than I did, I had to use a walker or wheel chair to get around. I didn’t have the upper body strength for crutches, since I was stuck in bed for a month.
Overall, 6th grade was a pretty embarrassing year, but some good did come out of it. I got a book from the local library about places around the world to see. I can’t say that it is the definitive reason for my love of travel, but it inspired me to write a list of things to do while I am alive. It’s been added to, edited, garnered a few laughs, but it’s stayed with me over the past 17 years. It continues to inspire me to this day.