(a dramatic retelling of a not-so-dramatic experience)
A glorious day, indeed it was. The sun hid it’s most fierce rays behind a wall of beautiful gray clouds, and the ocean waves raised their voices in a grand symphony that only the great fathoms below can play.
It began with all of us young people taking at trek to the sand dunes bordering the parameter of our favorite beach. I don’t know who’s idea it was that was the catalyst to my demise. It really doesn’t matter. All I know is that before long, my friends and family were jumping off sand dunes.
Now, not all sand dunes are created equal. This particular sand dune was by far not the largest I’ve seen, but at it’s approximate 10 feet of height, it was still a formidable giant for us two-legged creatures to attempt to stretch our non-existent wings over.
It’s also important, as I set the stage, to realize that I can be something of a stick in the mud at times. Or maybe the more appropriate word would be simply “chicken.” And this chicken wasn’t feeling the faith that her two stubby wings would land her safely down below, despite the eagles around her exhibiting grandiose abilities in flying.
So I, the chicken, watched. It really DID looked like such fun. I was the only one NOT jumping, sticking out like an ostrich among pigeons. Not even the camera in my hand was big enough to hide behind. I was self-ostracized by my own fear.
“Alright! I’ll do it.” A voice spoke out. Who was it? Wait, no, surely that wasn’t MY voice. But alas, it was. Trying not to show the quaking in my legs and the thumping of my heart, I stepped up to the vast crater below me, pretending more courage that I really felt. Everything seemed to fade around me, the voices of encouragement, the laughter of those at the bottom…all drowned away and lost in the dramatic thump-thump of my heart, while the depths below only seemed to be magnified, it’s evil beckoning hand mocking my fears.
And then….I jumped.
Time stood still. Then the rushing, rushing, rushing of the air in my face, my stomach seemed to take wing, my hair levitated itself from my head. The adrenaline coursed through my veins, screaming at me as I defied gravity. There was no turning back.
And then….BAM! I was on the ground. But something was not right. In observing my friends, they had all consistently landed on their feet. But as I felt my body make impact with an unforgiving terra-firma, I was not standing, neither was I even kneeling.
I was sitting.
And the impact of tailbone and hard sand dune is not a pleasant experience, let me tell you. And in the moment of impact, THAT is when my life was changed forever. With the sound of the THUD from my unfortunate landing, it also was the sound of the door flying wide open for my battle with back pain. You don’t land like that and come away unscathed, believe me…
The moral of this story? Following the crowd can be detrimental to your health. And always remember…
Sand dunes are very, very dangerous.