Friday, February 3, 2012

The Breakfast of Champions

As a child I had freakish jumping skills.  Combine that with my invincibility skills and my superhero cape (it wasn't a towel it was a cape!) and I was pretty much destined for success no matter what path in life I chose to take.  Unfortunately, my name is Frakey Frickel.

No, it isn't my real name.  I would have stabbed myself with a unicorn or something if my parents had named me that.  My birth name is Tracie Crystal (middle name), yet at the age of 4 it doesn't help to have a cousin with a slight lisp who can't pronounce your name and she tells everyone your name is "Frakey Frickel" and then people laugh and think its cute and they start making stupid poems like "Frakey Frickel had a nickel...went to the store and bought a pickle" and you are running around looking for a unicorn to put to good use and for the rest of your life people ask you why you want to stab things.

Anyway, one summer my parents decided to take my two cousins and I on a vacation to Hot Springs, Arkansas.  To date, I am not really sure what their expectations were.

The first day at the hotel we had no plans, so us kids decided to  run amuck up and down the hotel staircases creating havoc and chaos.  By happy chance one of my cousins knew that I loved to show off my wild jumping skills. She looked up at one of the upper balconies and suggested that I jump from there to the ground.  I didn't hesitate and ran up to the mentioned balcony.

I did a few acrobatic routines before my plummet to the Earth.

I truly impressed myself that day.  And then the moment came for me to jump.  Here is the thing.  When I plummet, I totally monopolize the air.  It belongs to me.   I become a superhero, so to speak, as I can probably grab an endangered kitten from a limb as I hurtle perilously towards the Earth. I love being a superhero, however, in an ironic twist of fate, there were no kittens that day.

I did own the air on the way down, but the ground, not so much.  That was the first trip to the hospital for that day.  I felt my two cousins dragging me to my room as I lay like an adorable semi-conscious helpless black hole of a need on the ground.

Once back from the hospital and after a few hours of bed rest, I couldn't stand being in the room any longer and begged (harassed) my parents to let me go to the pool with my cousins.  They relented as they were tired of me.

As swimming is the most boring thing on the planet, I decided to one-up my own jumping event from the balcony and do a running jump/flip off of the side of the pool.

I ran past the "no running" sign as fast as I could and just as I got to the edge of the pool did a beautiful jump mid-air flip.  People clapped and cheered. In the background, I believe I heard someone singing "The National Anthem."  I was that amazing.

Unfortunately, five thousand pounds of concrete edging decided to jump up at cataclysmic speed and crack me across the center of my face, which would be my nose, and thanks to that one event in my life, it now looks like a range of mountains.

Not only did the jump break my nose in several places, the concrete cut a gash across my nose and yes, I still have the scar as a significant lifetime award for the pool jumping event that day .  I like awards.

Initially, I lay in the pool completely unaware that my nose was gushing blood and  laughing because the water was turning red for some reason.

And who turned on the red shower spray that was spraying all over me? Why was everything turning black around me? Oh, magic stars!

I felt one of my cousins pull me to the side as the world started spinning  just for me.  That is really a special feeling when the world does that for you.   I then came to the realization,though, that the force of gravity was not as much as a friend to me as I thought it was. It quietly made my enemies list that day.

To me, jumping is like ballet, except there is no music, no choreography and the ground likes to punch me in the face hard.  Some jumps go really well.  I am like a champion, perfectly proficient in the art of jumping.  I could be on all of those Wheaties boxes.  I could own Wheaties.  I'm not even sure why they haven't called me already to be a spokesperson.  They will, though, they will.

I received stitches on my nose and  made a few more trips to the hospital before our vacation was done.  Fortunately, we were on a bulk services discount plan, so my parents saved lots of money because of me.  I never asked them to thank me.  To date, they still haven't, but I don't hold a grudge.

 I am quite sure that they realized just how lucky they were to have me.  




submit to reddit

26 comments:

  1. My blog was about jumping this week too. Cool.

    Great story. I am sure that is a vacation your family never forgot. My brother almost drowned on vacation, my dad had a heart attack on one, my uncle had an epileptic seizure and my cousin broke her arm on vacation. Sometimes the best adventures are away from the home.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Maybe you could've given your parents the nickel you had as part payment? :D

    I was also an accident prone child but being in the UK, my parents didn't have to pay for treatment. I'm pretty sure they would've wrapped me in bubblewrap otherwise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm thinking I should move to the UK!

      Delete
  3. You sound like you were one genius of a kid! Great post... totally enjoyable and fun! Thanks :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. That story was amazing. Having done something similar (jumped off a roof into a pool and giving myself a concussion) I could relate...minus the massive nose trauma. The weird thing is that my name rhymes with nickel and pickle too (hence my avatar) and I was subjected to THE SAME AWFUL RHYME! You have now effectively erased years of therapy, reverting me to youth. Maybe I'll get a 10% discount.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't think about that...we are two pickles!

      Delete
  5. No rhyme for me, but I did have a niece that changed my name from "Chris" to "Keek" for my entire childhood.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, now I want to make a poem for "Keek!" But we are officially sticking with "Chris" so as not to revert you back to any childhood trauma:)

      Delete
  6. It's moments like this where your family still loves you, but they really don't like you anymore.

    I had a few moments like that in my younger days. No "Wheaties-worthy" moments, but good times none the less.

    And now, miss frickel, I'm going to have your theme song stuck in my head ALL DAY.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I once glued my picture on a Wheaties box and pretended I was a champion...but I knew all along I was:)

      The poem does stick. Thirty-five years later it is still in my head!

      Delete
  7. This is wonderful. I like how you were generous enough to put the nickel in every picture :)

    So funny!

    Did you still jump and own the air? You should go skydiving!

    ReplyDelete
  8. You are hilarious! My entire family loves your stories and creativity!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Your creativity and humor is completely amazing! Please don't ever ever ever stop!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Sounds like me as a kid, running and jumping everywhere.

    I think I'm starting to pay for it though, my legs and knees will hurt randomly for no reason at times.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, "old age" is catching up with me, too...but don't tell anyone that:)

      Delete
  11. Haha that was probably terrifying for your parents! I'm getting woozy just thinking about it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it was just as exhausting for them, though. Vacations were few and far between for us and that one probably ended up costing the same as if we had gone to Europe! Glad you like it!

      Delete
  12. Love, love, love the story! My daughter had her first ER visit at 18 months old for a head wound resulting from a dive off of a rocking horse. The boys are just as brazen. Now they jump off the roofs of the Little Tikes plastic playhouses in the backyard. Hey...at least they're out back and won't get the blood in the house....

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks! And I am with you...all blood outside!

    ReplyDelete
  14. It's good to know that someone else has horrible vacation memories from that place. Still a cool place, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I went back last year and had a great time...rode dune buggies in the mountains, but no accidents! Had a blast with that:)

      Delete
  15. OMG, this was hilarious! Yay!!! A funny new blog to read!

    ReplyDelete