June 20, 2007

The Reckless Madness of Youth

I did some pretty idiotic things when I was a kid. There was the day we assumed that garbage bags could act as parachutes. With this realization, me and my friends ran into the kitchen, each grabbed a bag and proceeded to jump off the roof. It didn't work out for us exactly as expected.

Then of course there was the rainy day in the old hotel when we decided to light candles and hold them up behind the flies on the window. You see, once the fly feels the heat, it gets scared and scampers away. Unfortunately the only way for the fly to escape is right through the lit candle. But once the fly hits the fire, its wings immediately disintegrate and you're left with a bunch of wingless flies flailing about. I still feel bad about that one. Haven't killed a fly since.

Of course I clearly remember the day when my mother walked outside the front door of our house and saw me in the walkway with a big pile of dry leaves and a handful of lit matches. The alarmed look of guilt on my face barely matched the alarmed look of anger on hers. That was during my arson stage. Fortunately, my arsonistic activities never even got beyond that pile of dry leaves. The moment my mother yelled at me I decided to let the whole fire fascination fall by the wayside.

Then there was the battery episode. I can still feel the jolt to my bones when we played with the batteries. A group of us would all link hands in a long line. Then the people on the end would each hold a piece of wire to different ends of a live 24 volt battery. You could feel the shock travel up your arm, through your spine and down the other arm. It was as if the bones were jolted out of the sockets. Unconsciously reacting, everybody would clench harder against the hands of others. It was like the pain would never stop. Freaky freaky feeling.

I bring up these little anectdotes because I've been sitting here trying to heal my calf. I ice, I stretch and I use electric stim. I just had the e-stim electrodes on my left calf - 20 minutes of electricity jolting my muscles to life.

About 10 minutes into the therapeutic masochism, one of the electrodes started peeling off of my leg. I reached down to pull it off and replace it. It was about the exact moment when my hands wrapped around the electrode and the searing fire of electricity jolted my arm like the sudden thwack of a thunderbolt that I once again became in touch with the lunacy of my childhood.

Sometimes you grow up, but you never grow old.

4 comments:

No Wetsuit Girl... overseas! said...

You never stuck a fork in the electrical socket just out of curiosity? I did, it was kind of exciting, or at least it got my heart racing. I was 15...

1HappyAthlete said...

Hey J

I just stumbled across your blog....good stuff....

Best of luck in AZ. A had a couple of friends do it last year and although it's flat, it was VERY VERY windy last year

Andy
http://1happyathlete.blogspot.com

Spence said...

Didn't we all try that parachute thing? We tried to jump out a window with umbrellas (hey, it worked for Mary Poppins and Wile E. Coyote!) Luckily no one ever had the guts to actually jump...

Spokane Al said...

I once accidently peed on an electric fence - the path of that jolt of electricity seared a memory that I won't soon forget.