mountain bike summer camp

So when I was thirteen and went to summer camp we were scheduled to go mountain biking one day, and even though I’m wobbly at best on a mountain bike I tagged along and prayed no one would make fun of me.

Well it got a lot worse than that, since they all rode far ahead of me while I kept falling off this bike that was way too big for me, but eventually I got some confidence. And then we reached a hill. Not just any hill, a steep, rocky hill covered with gravel and sharp, painful objects.

I didn’t know how to stop while going down the hill, so I just started cussing (at church camp, ironically) until I flipped headfirst over the handlebars, flew a few feet, and landed on my head.

My counselor had been biking behind me and proceeded to freak out, but all I did was stare for a long time at my bloody hands and say, “Um, hey, I think I broke my wrist.” So she had to carry me to the nurse’s office with a broken wrist, a puncture wound in my forehead, the skin on my left arm gouged off, the vision in my left eye gone, and – best part – two broken vertebrae. 

I sat at a sink for about an hour while they tried to stop my head from bleeding, and instead of crying I talked to them about how it was churro day for lunch and they better save me some churros or I’d get really mad, how my neon purple shoes were ruined by bloodstains now, and how I thought puke was really funny. A girl came in crying with a splinter; I waved hi to her and she left.

And then I was driven to the hospital, a dinky little place with only twelve beds and no blood for transfusions, where I sat in the waiting room for an hour with a wad of paper towels pressed to my head and my wrist swollen as big as a stereotypical frat boy’s head. After being quizzed by the receptionist and filling out some paperwork with my broken wrist, they wrapped me up in gauze and bandages and everything everywhere, put glue on my head, and sent me back to camp, and then the camp nurse took me to McDonald’s to get a cheeseburger and ice cream.

So I’m more than likely the only person alive who can say they broke their neck and went to get ice cream right afterward.