This post could also be titled:
Fun at the Hike or Bike
Kim's Dumb Day
But let's start at the beginning. My Grandpa is part of the Rotary club in the town where I grew up (where my parents recently moved back). He organizes a Hike or Bike event, where people can walk or bike, to help raise money for their scholarship fund (and, this year, the park renovation fund). We were so excited to be there to participate. The twins were looking forward to "Nebraska Grandpa's Bike Ride" all week.
Ready to go!
A lot of extended family was there - my aunt and uncle and 3 cousins who also live in the same town, my aunt and uncle and 2 cousins who live a couple hours away, my dad's cousin and his wife and daughter, my grandparents (obviously), and many close friends of the family. It was essentially a reunion that included some exercise first. I was so excited.
My Grandpa giving instructions - the main instruction being NO INJURIES!
(note: that is my Grandma to the left, and my cousin peeking out from behind).
We got there, registered, gave some hugs and said hellos, and then it was time to start! The excitement was palpable...for my kids, at least. They were trying to ride across the grass!
Here is everyone listening to the instructions...except for...me. I'm taking pictures.
There was a bike route and 2 hike routes. We chose to take the twins to the track so that they could bike while we hiked and have plenty of room (in hopes they wouldn't hit any hikers).
We're off! Look at all the smiles!
(Pictured left to right: Allie, Papa, Aunt Phyllis, Cousin B, Cousin A, Aunt Valerie, and Cousin D)
They had never ridden on the street before and they were so excited!
(Pictured back to front: Grandma, Friend Josie and Friend Jane; Gigi and Papa; Allie and Ryan; Aunt Valerie)
Most people went to the other hike route first, so we were the only ones on the track for a while. The twins had never had so much room to ride before. They were instantly intent on riding around and around and around as quickly as possible. Not surprisingly, it wasn't long before they turned it into a race. Probably 1.5 miles in, the competition got fierce. At one point, Allie screamed and cried at the top of her lungs all the way around the track because Ryan was ahead and she couldn't catch up. Another time, it was Ryan lagging behind and wailing. Once, Allie turned and rode the opposite way (against the flow of traffic after most of the hikers had moved to the track) because Ryan couldn't beat her that way. Thankfully, my cousins (the other set of twins) took turns challenging the twins to race (they ran while my kiddos rode their bikes) to momentarily take their minds off of the fierce sibling rivalry. Their competition was the talk of the event...with the exception of one minor event, but I'll get to that later.
I was intent on getting as many pictures as I could. I was hiking, of course, but I was also enjoying the opportunity to practice taking pictures in manual mode and catching some of my extended family on film. Every now and then, I would jog to a different location to snap a few pictures.
My Uncle Jon (right) recently had knee replacement surgery. He managed to log more distance than I did! Uncle Paul and cousin D are too his left.
And then I would jog back.
Poor Papa, trying to encourage them to stay together, and with him.
This was the last picture I took before...
My cousin, D, had jogged back to the track with me, and then started to take off and run. It was such an amazing moment, and I wanted to catch it with my camera. I started to step back as I looked through my viewfinder to get the perfect shot. And then, all of the sudden, I was on the ground. Confused about what happened (although, thankful that my camera was securely strapped around my neck and safe despite the apparent fall), I tried to stand. The pain that shot through me was so intense the world started to go fuzzy and I thought I was going to pass out (to give you a reference, I have only ever almost passed out once in my life - after a severe accident where I received a strong blow to the head. And, despite 2 concussions, I have never actually passed out. The pain was bad). I managed to avoid passing out, but then I thought I was going to be sick. Once that passed, I laid on the ground and realized I was not going to be walking away from that track. Apparently, I was closer to the edge of the track than I realized, and I somehow fell off (I thought I fell backwards, but the doctor pointed out my scraped knee with track residue in the scrape, so I obviously fell forward first?). I resisted as long as I could. My cousin got me some ice, I propped it up as best I could, I took Ibuprofen...lots of Ibuprofen. Nothing worked. I knew I was going to have to go to the hospital.
Hanging out in the ER. By this point, the Ibuprofen had started to kick in and I was doing much better, although I was still in a lot of pain.
The doctor came in while we were waiting for x-rays. It turns out the doctor on call was my childhood doctor and neighbor growing up! After looking at it, he told me that the best we could hope for was a serious sprain...but he didn't look hopeful. I stayed positive. Surely I couldn't break my ankle trying to take a picture, right? After the x-rays he came in with good news. It wasn't broken! But it was a severe sprain. After looking up what he told me online, I essentially tore a ligament again. He told me it would take 6-8 weeks to fully heal, I wouldn't be walking for a couple of days, and I shouldn't go home when I planned. My parents were thrilled to have us with them longer, although they would have preferred different circumstances...
A few days later. The swelling has considerably gone down (it was originally the size of a grapefruit), but the bruising is starting to look pretty awful.
It was pretty frustrating to simply be trying to get a great picture (which I DID not get, by the way), and end up finishing our trip completely laid up. It was pretty frustrating to miss out on time with my family because I had to go to the hospital (the twins got to stay, and they came home officially obsessed with my cousins. It makes me happy to see how much they love them!). It was pretty frustrating to end up needing someone to travel home with me (my mom) since I cannot walk well enough to keep up with the twins. It was pretty frustrating to be completely laid up for the last few days. But it is coming along, and we only added an extra 2 days to our stay. Bonus, I got to see my cousin who wasn't going to be home from college until we were (originally) gone! It's always nice to have a stupid injury produce a positive outcome!
And, not to leave you with an ugly foot picture, here is one final picture of the kiddos racing across the "finish" line!