Good morning, ladies & gents. 🙂 Here we are on another lovely Monday. You know what that means! Yes! Another riveting tale from my life. That’s right. So try to contain your excitement & buckle up!
This is a story of Divine Retribution.
It was the summer of 2008 and I was spending the afternoon with my good friend, Lindsay. You’ve seen her before, in last weeks Me Monday post.
[Side note: I’m noticing that as I’m trying to recall different memories of strange/weird/funny things that have happened to me over my life, many of them involve Lindsay. Coincidence? What say you, Lindsay?!]
So it was a regular lazy summer day – Lindsay and I were just hanging out around town, grabbing Starbucks, driving around, watching TV, blah blah blah you get the idea. The thing is for some reason, I remember being in just the most foul mood that day. I wasn’t in a bad mood in the traditional sense where I was upset or anything – no, I was in a mood that transformed me into a horrible person in general. I remember all day just being so mean/rude/judgmental towards everyone around me (Not Lindsay, obviously. Otherwise she wouldn’t have been hanging out with me, I’m sure. Lindsay also was not participating in my hate-fest. Lindsay is one of the nicest, most gracious, least judgmental people that I know).
Anyway, as Lindsay and I were sipping our coffees in Starbucks – all of the random people I would see around the coffee shop were irritating me. I remember being an aggressive driver as I was driving around that day. I was basically walking around with my nose in the air, acting as if I was Queen of all. The thing is – I have no idea why. I sincerely cannot remember why I was acting so irritable and annoyed with most everyone who I came into contact with. Basically – I was just being obnoxious.
(Me. Complete Grinch status.)
Lindsay and I decided later on to go to a local tennis court and play some tennis. And when I say “play tennis”, what I really mean is “hit the tennis ball back & forth and see how many times we can actually make contact with the ball while also hitting it to each other, back & forth”. So off we make our merry way to the local tennis court. It was close to Lindsay’s parents’ house, so we walked. As we walked, I remember thinking to myself: “I look so good today. Look at me, walking to play tennis. Having a great hair day… my outfit is on point. Boom. Killin’ it, Ash. You da best”. Which is funny because I was wearing like a basic VCU t-shirt and black cropped sweats. (My present self is judging my past self.) But okay, girl. Inflated ego, party of one!
So there we were – playing “tennis”.
Back & forth. Back & forth.
Eventually, I guess we decide that I “won” the match. Yes! I AM THE WINNER! Must celebrate.
As I’m completing a victory dance, I decide – you know what? I am going to do something awesome right now. Just to really make this victory memorable. I turn to Lindsay and say: “Hey Linds! I’m going to hurdle this tennis net!”.
[Side bar: I have NEVER hurdled ANYTHING in my life. Have zero experience with hurdling. Don’t know why I thought this was even a possibility for me, LOL.]
In my head, I imagine that I will launch over this tennis net in the most spectacular way and feel like a boss.
This will be me:
This will be Lindsay:
But, that’s not what happened.
I made my way to the back of the tennis court, as I figured that I would need a good running start. As I’m trying to mentally prepare myself for this, I think, “Wait a minute. Maybe this isn’t such a good idea.”
So I look to Lindsay and say, “Hey Lindsay! Is this a good idea?”
And she shrugs and says, AND I QUOTE, “Hey. Couldn’t hurt.”
So I’m like alright! Someone has blessed this action! I will continue! I begin running and, you guys – not even kidding – as I’m running towards the net, I’m thinking in my head: “OMG THIS IS SO GOING TO HURT. THIS IS GOING TO HURT REALLY BAD. I’M PROBABLY GOING TO CRY. BUT I’M ALREADY IN TOO DEEP. THERE’S NO GOING BACK. I’LL PROBABLY JUST HURT MYSELF SLIGHTLY BAD. NOTHING SERIOUS THOUGH. HOLY CRAP HOLY CRAP HOLY CRA–“
ENTER LINDSAY LAUGHING HYSTERICALLY.
ENTER EXTREME SHOCK.
So, apparently Lindsay said that I actually did make it over the net – most of the way. I made it all the way over, but then my back foot just barely clipped the top of the net. And it was all over from there. As I fell, I knew that I was going to fall straight on my face. I only had a split second to act – so I tried to twist my body around mid-air so that I would land on my side/back instead. What actually happened is that I landed directly on my elbow.
It can’t hurt, Lindsay? OH IT CAN. IT CAN.
ENTER HORRIBLE PAIN.
ENTER ME SCREAMING.
ENTER LINDSAY BEING LIKE, “Oh, wait, are you okay?!?”
ENTER ME LIKE, “CALL 911!!!!!!”
Actually, the first thing I notice isn’t even pain – it’s discomfort. Something is wrong. Oh yes, I can’t move my arm. The thing was – I couldn’t tell why. It felt like the problem was actually in my shoulder. I thought that I had just dislocated my shoulder. So, like the genius that I am, I try to pop it back in myself. I just kinda toss my arm out. Yep. Apparently that’s how you pop a dislocated shoulder in, ya’ll. Learn something new everyday. Uh, nope. Big mistake. THAT, is when I notice that my entire elbow bone is sticking out down my arm.
(Never broke through the skin though. OMG. Can. Not. Even.)
Yes, I had broken my elbow clear in half.
So, there I am. Waiting for the ambulance to get there. Laying on a tennis court, flailing about. Screaming/crying/laughing – yelling out “WHY, ASHLEY?! WHY?! WHY YOU SO DUMB?!”
I can’t help but now think that this right here – was some straight up Divine Retribution. Old Testament style. Served up fresh. Yes, we all have off/bad days where we act mean & irritable & rude, etc etc. We’re only human. But, I also honestly believe that sometimes when you act like a nasty human being, God will jump right in to put you right back in your place. “Oh, think you can act a fool and look awesome hurdling that tennis net later? NO WAY JOSE!”. Jesus calls us to love and be kind to others. Not to judge and be hateful. Which is exactly how I was acting that day. I deserved it! I did! You reap what you sow.
In other words: KARMA IS A BEAST.
The ambulance finally arrives to take me to the hospital (WHILE TAKING ALL OF THE BUMPIEST ROADS), and on the way there, the paramedic is like, “Oh don’t worry. I broke my elbow two months ago and now I’m just fine. I just can’t bend my arm the entire way though. But no big deal.”
Get to the hospital. As I’m waiting, I call a friend to complain about my misery. As I’m crying/yelling into the phone, my friend says, “Oh wait – is your arm tingling??? I saw on TV that when you break something and it tingles, that means that your nerves are dying. You need to get to the doctor RIGHT AWAY.”
My nerves weren’t dying. My friend was no doctor. BUT I did end up having to have two major surgeries to screw/bolt/wire my elbow back together. Then had to have four months of three day a week physical therapy to learn how to properly use & bend my arm again. All therapy had to be paid for out of pocket. It was glorious.
Below was about two-ish months later – the way that my arm is bent in this photo is how it was legitimately stuck. I could not move it back and forth save for maybe and inch or so. I was basically walking around with a robot arm.
So. Moral of the story? Do not be a jerk. Treat others with kindness. I got my butt handed back to me in the most ridiculous way & my elbow still hurts sometimes. Sure, I can laugh about it. Now.
If you are already asking yourself if what you are about to do is a good idea – that means it probably isn’t a good idea.
And above all else, the lesson that should be learned from this is:
Have a fantastic Monday, everyone!! xx