Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Remember the Time I Ran Over Myself with My Own Car?

Or, “Me against the 1995 Pontiac Bonneville.”
I’m writing this story for a couple reasons:
1. I think it’s important to be able to laugh at one’s self and not take yourself too seriously.
2. I am going to refer to this story in a later post when I talk about the obstacles I’ve had in running the past 6 years.
3. Luckily, there was no permanent damage, so I kind of think the story is hilarious…
So, September 1, 2004. I was 30 years old, and had completed the Oklahoma City Marathon a few months earlier. I had started out training for the marathon, then injury after injury convinced me I should do the half instead, so I trained for the half… then during the expo, my friend and I decided to switch to the full marathon and just walk. I walked it in 6:45. Yes, I completed 26.2 miles, but have been told my many runners that “it doesn’t count”.
I was building the running back up ALMOST from the beginning and determined to do it right this time. I had recently quit my full time job as a group fitness coordinator to work on my Ph. D. full time. I was 30 and didn’t have any kids, so I could do things like that back then..
I was teaching aerobics and yoga all over town, and running in addition to my classes, so I was in really great shape. My husband and I had recently started taking Kenpo Karate together, and on that day, I was scheduled to test for my first belt (yellow).
I had an appointment that afternoon, but I went out to start my car, and it wouldn’t start, so I called and cancelled. Since I had my test later that night, I decided I would take a nap. I wanted to be nice and fresh :-)
Well, apparently while I was sleeping, my husband decided to try to jump my car. So, he had rolled it out into the center of the street in our apartment complex. He came in and woke me up frantically, saying he needed me to help him move the car. Well, I was groggy, but he was convincing in his urgency, so I followed him outside.
We rolled the car back up to the parking space. He said, “Okay, you got it?” I said “Yes.”… thinking I had correctly put the parking brake on. He turned around and started to walk away. However, I noticed the car was rolling. Well, the first thing that came to mind for me was that I had to get the foot brake down, so I leaned into the car and tried holding it down with my hand. Guess what: That does not work. [Keep this in mind if you ever find yourself in a similar situation].
So, at some point, my husband noticed the car was rolling (I may have yelled for him, I really don’t remember) and came over to try to help. But, there was a point where I saw the car about to roll over my legs, and knew there was nothing I could do to stop it, and everything moved to slow motion. I am told I screamed, but it was mainly in anticipation for how much it was going to hurt to be run over by a car. But, you know, I remember thinking it didn’t hurt nearly as much as I thought it would.
So, once we got the car secured, my husband took me inside. We washed the tire tracks off my legs (!!!) and he sat me down at my computer, told me to put my feet up, and gave me a glass of wine. I figured I was set while he went to Karate (and I also think I had a pretty valid excuse for not testing that night).
Well, as the time went on, my legs started to hurt more and more. They swelled up. I called my mom, and she freaked out. “Go to the hospital!!! What is wrong with you?” So, when my husband got home, I told him I thought I should go to the hospital.
In the meantime, my mom calls my dad and leaves a message that only says, “Sarah got run over by a car and is going to the hospital!” Geez. There were about 50 missed calls on my phone when we got home.
They did some X-rays and found there were no broken bones, but my knees and ankles were sprained. There were also some pretty wicked bruises developing. They gave me something for the pain right there, and gave me a prescription for vicodin, and told me to go see my regular doctor the next day (at the University Health Clinic).
I think I was pretty lucky. I used crutches for a few weeks, but I was able to walk pretty quickly. I did really easy workouts for the next few months, like Leslie Sansone. The next Spring, my mom got really sick, and eventually went into hospice and died, so it was even longer before I was able to start running again (and by the time I got really good at it again… I was pregnant..)
So, friends, here’s the tip of the day: EMERGENCY BRAKE. And, if not, pushing the floor brake down with your hand DOESN’T work. Finally, if you’re going to get run over by a car, do a lot of yoga, because it apparently helps you heal faster.
To your health (and safety),
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