I found this searching through some files and giggled. It's what happened when I was asked to write a "unique biography in 150 words or less." Since I was rejected from the class twice, perhaps it wasn't unique enough. Maybe I should have gone with the story about almost being switched at birth?
It’s June 1990. I am 12 and stoked for the summer, ready for the swimming pool, softball games, and tennis. Enter one bench swing and a pack of friends. A particularly impressive game of jumping from the swing ensues. I spend the first several rounds standing on the back of the swing, holding the top bar tightly, and helping propel the swing for the jumps of my comrades. They eagerly squish into the swing in packs of threes and fours, the middle children jumping first, and shrieking with the delight of youth freed from school.
My turn to jump comes and I am mad air all the way. I’m flying! Kicking and screaming in the best way possible until gravity seals my fate and I land in hole on the ground with a very sore ankle, then I am just kicking and screaming.
The x-rays show four fractures.
What would Jessie Spano do? I hook my bike pack filled with books to my crutches, I exhaust my parents’ record collection, I smash tennis balls into the garage door when the crutches make way for the walking cast, and consider sitting still as an average 12 year old does. And in all the cast signing that summer, I never notice my foot growing and my toes of my right foot stretching out of the cast. All the toes except my big toe, which stops growing with that broken ankle and gives me an extreme case of Greek foot, dashing the hopes I never knew I had of becoming a foot model, but securing a philosophy that function is usually more important than form.
Fast forward 23 years and I nearly slice my left big toe off in the lawn mower incident six weeks before my second marathon. I guess I am uniquely hard on my feet.