Monday, November 19, 2012

fallen ankle...


I wiped out in gym class today.  It was bloody spectacular, if I don’t mind saying so myself. I went 'over on my ankle'.  What a weird saying.  Sounds very much like - but at the same time no way similar to - I went 'over on a boat'. Anyway, if I had a nickel for every time I’ve gone 'over on my ankle' I’d have, lets see, three whole nickels.

My first nickel was earned in my second last year of high school.  The netball teacher had asked Exotica and me to demonstrate a 'move'.  Considering that to this day, I have no idea how many people are even on a netball team, I really have to question the wisdom of her choice.  The move involved me (as a defender) trying to get the ball away from Exotica (not a defender, the other thing). There was jumping involved. And landing. And wrong kinds of landing.

I heard a loud crack. Maybe it wasn’t that loud, maybe it was just loud in my head.  As I landed, a fierce pain shot from my foot, up my leg and into my brain. No, I don’t remember fainting. No, I don’t remember hitting the ground. No, I don’t remember convulsing*. No, I don’t remember peeing in my pants.  (* A little running note here: on a previous occasion, another poor girl in our grade had a full blown fit on a school outing and the kids mistook her convulsing for break-dancing. This was the 80’s remember.)

What I do remember is coming around to my team mates faces hovering over me in a kind of sports huddle, wide eyed and somewhat bemused. The coach, a mixture of horror and panic on her face, was looking at me in an overwhelmed way.  None of us had discovered the peed-in-pants part yet (though maybe they had and were just being polite).

At times like these I find the best thing to do is cry.  Sometimes, if you do it well enough, people want to join in. It was all very humbling, not least of all because I was blubbering in the company of 'Mean Cindy', a girl on the team that everyone was fiercely frightened of and in front of whom one definitely didn’t cry.

After a while, Exotica appeared with a Coke. She’d gone rummaging around in one of the teachers houses to find “something sugary” to bring me around from the break-dancing that my mum would have called 'a funny turn'. (Again, another weird saying, because it was hardly funny at all.)

As I sipped slowly on the sickly sweet black nectar (a forbidden beverage in a milk-drinking house such as ours) I slowly became aware of the ‘wet patch’. And then, as my cerebral capacity continued to return, I became aware of the very large field of chaps, alongside our netball field, busy with rugby practice.  I realised then that I was in for a long afternoon.  There’s simply no cool way that anyone with pee-pants can confidently saunter past an army of lads, let alone at the self-conscious age of 16. At one point I considered doing “the worm” to get off the field, but on my back you understand, so that the wet patch would remain hidden from view.

Turns out I’d cracked the bone in my foot and had to hobble around very un-sexily on crutches for a few weeks.

I earned my second nickel in a less dramatic way.  TFTF** was a toddler and we were holding hands whilst walking down the stairs together.  To this day, I wonder why the bloody hell I put the short person in front - it just doesn’t make any sense. To make matters worse, he was descending faster than me whilst sort of dragging me behind. And although I was practically bent over double, my body wasn’t quite low enough to make me the same size as an 18month toddler. 

Fortunately I didn’t pass out, convulse or pee in my pants this time.  It was a minor sprain with major grumpiness.

Today, of course, I earned my third nickel.  It was quite the movie moment.  Time slowed down as the entire class saw me go crashing down, like a slain mythical beast in a sci-fi movie. They all moved together as one, to my rescue.

No cracked bones and no sprains this time round, just a punctured pride.

** TFTF = TooFastTooFurious for those who aren't in the know.

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