This is the sixth (and final!) part of the Tragedy and Triumph story series. Here are the links to the previous posts:
- Part One: The Prologue
- Part Two: May 19th, 2015
- Part Three: The Waiting
- Part Four: Back in the Saddle
- Part Five: The Dog Park Redemption
On to part six:
Many people who have talked to me about the crash have commented how scary it must have been to drive up on the scene. Yes, it was very scary, but I am actually happy it happened that way. To me, receiving a call that my son was in an ambulance en route to the hospital would have been much worse. At least by driving up, I was able to talk to him and start to wrap my mind around his injuries, keeping the imagination somewhat in check.
Who Are You?
Suppose I had not driven up, though? How would they have even known whom to call in a case like this where a cyclist had head injuries and might not have been able to talk? Well, there’s a simple solution.
That day, and every cycling workout, Miles was wearing his Road ID bracelet. I use one, too. This is a relatively inexpensive (around $20) bracelet that has his name and emergency contact information on it.
If you do not have one of these but you do any kind of fitness activity where you might be involved in an accident, please order one now. If you have loved ones who cycle or run, please encourage them to buy one. Make it a Christmas or birthday gift if you have to.
All Those Years Ago
In summer of 1985, a 17 year-old American Legion baseball player sat on an exam table in the Furman University athletic trainer’s office. The player’s coach, a Furman alumnus, had arranged the visits in hopes of getting his starting center fielder back on the field quickly for the remainder of the playoffs.
The trainer held the player’s left foot and examined the black, blue and swollen left ankle. The trainer twisted and poked. The player winced. After several days of therapy, the severe sprain did not look much better.
“You really think you can play on this?” the trainer asked.
“Yep. I’m OK,” the player replied.
“Hmm,” the trainer said, perhaps not as confident as the young man, “OK. Stand up.”
The player slid off the table and stood.
“Raise your right foot,” the trainer commanded.
The athlete raised his right foot off the ground.
“If you can jump up and down on that ankle a few times, I’ll clear you.”
The player took a deep breath and using his high pain tolerance super powers, proceeded to hop three times on the left foot, while grinning through excruciating pain.
The trainer shook his head. “Alright. Good luck.”
Unfortunately, the Greer American Legion Post 115 lost in the first round of the playoffs. There was no miracle catch or stolen base on a bum left ankle. 1986 would be the miracle year, but it didn’t matter. The summer of 1985 stuck in the young man’s mind as the most memorable summer of his life. So, I’ve heard.
As a parent, I have wondered if Miles would have a favorite summer, like 1985 was for that young baseball player. Thirty years from now, I cannot guarantee 2015 will rank as his favorite summer, but I imagine it will be near the top of the Most Memorable category.
The Crock Pot of the Mind
Thanks for reading this far and putting up with a six part story. Many of my stories have slow cooked in my brain for many, many years before I go to put them down on this digital paper. Therefore, sometimes the facts might be a little fuzzy. Obviously, this story did not simmer very long, but I just had to get it out of my system. This time, I’ve tried to be very true to the facts.
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