Friday, March 31, 2006

The Day Daredevil Brad Died

Back in the day I used to be reckless. I used to be a daredevil. I'd jump across or down from anything. Fireworks were more fun when aimed at people. I covered a little bit of my daredevil ways in this post. One day in 1986 my daredevil life came to an end.

My Dad, my brother and I had moved back to Ohio. With no woods to explore or burn down, my brother and I had to get a little more creative. We had wrestling matches in our new big house. We tried playing cops and robbers in the neighborhood. That came to an end when my brother nearly got shot by a police officer. I had the basketball hoop outside, but there was no thrill, no danger in that. Unless you count the strong layups where you often face planted into the garage door. I needed to fill that thrill vacancy. So, I decided on skateboarding. I could ride it around the town, and get my thrills with jumps and tricks.

I convinced my Dad to buy me a skateboard. I didn't know any skaters, and therefore had no clue about what made a good skateboard. This meant we went to Toys R Us and bought a skateboard that I thought looked cool. There was another flaw in my decision making. Wheels and I don't go together. With the scoliosis and one leg shorter than the other, I have the balance of a toddler. So why did I think I could possibly learn to skateboard. I have no idea.

With my new skateboard fresh out of the box, I went to the back alley to pull off some tricks. I was one of those kids who ignored the idea "crawling before walking." My little brother was out back to watch me. I think he still looked up to me at that point. Anyway, I placed the board down and stepped on it to go zooming away. My great sense of balance kicked in and nearly fell. After a few more tries, I could stand on the board. Then I decided to go fast. Placing my foot firmly on the board, I pushed off hard. Off the board went at a zippy clip. I on the other hand was a few feet in the air above the board's point of launch. I put my left arm out to break my fall, and snap. I jumped to my feet, and looked down at my forearm of which half was jutting out at a 50 degree angle. Seeing the carnage, Ben immediately began crying. I don't know why but I immediately snapped it back into place. It would turn out I did a really good job of snapping it back. If I hadn't, I would've needed the whole screw and plate ordeal. The one drawback was that my Dad didn't think it was broken. I should've pointed to Ben and said I don't think he'd be crying like that over a sprain. Anyway, It turned out I had completely broken the ulna and there was only a sliver connecting the radius. I felt bad for my Dad as my step-father showed us the X-ray. But how could he have known. With it snapped back it didn't look broken at all.

Call it luck or providence, but I had never broken a bone in my previous 16 years of living. I had bruises, scrapes, burns, and other ailments from living the life of a daredevil, but nothing as serious as a broken bone. After the arm healed, I tried going back to the daredevil life. It didn't take too well. Then after the back surgery I was pretty much done. Now I'm scared to death of heights. I'm struck with paranoia anytime my nieces or nephews go down stairs or near railings. I'm a wimp now, and all because I broke my arm.


Ben said...

Do I get to blame my fear of guns on the cop pulling a gun on me in the back alley?

Jaime said...

You say you're afraid of guns, but somehow I have in my possession a picture of you holding what looks to be a large semi-automatic rifle. And don't blame my hillbilly family for making you do it either. You know you like to blow stuff up.

Lindsay A. said...

you snapped it back into place....ouch ouch ouch
when I am in L.A. in a couple of weeks I am getting skateboard lessons....I take it you think that is a bad idea...:)

Bradford said...

Lindsay A.-If you have balance and adamantium bones then I thinks it's a great idea.

Lindsay A. said...

nice...I have neither so maybe I should save the skating for my friend and wolverine....hehehe