The Injured Reserve Bench

Earlier last week I had an accident.  

It wasn’t the super hero kind of accident you sometimes get which has a fascinating story behind it.  It was the kind of accident that will be remembered years from now because of the stupidity behind it.  To make a long story short I burned myself.  Not while baking a gorgeous cake, or boiling water
on the stove, tending a camp fire, or by falling in a burning obstacle you have to jump over, but by simply attempting to wax my eyebrows.  I grabbed the wax out of the microwave not realizing it was the sugar wax instead of the regular wax (men, this makes a difference trust me), and molten lava spilled over my hands and dripped down my leg.  One painful hour in denial, and an emergency visit later I was wrapped in bandages with second degree burns on my left hand, and down my leg. 

Several days after the accident I was pleading with the wellness Gods to magically make my hand and leg better enough to participate in a much anticipated race on Saturday morning.  Sadly, the healing Gods didn’t come through and on Saturday morning I still had a blister along with some small open wounds on my leg.  What does this mean for athlete who runs in mud and muck, who enjoys getting dirty, loves the feeling of sweat piercing her eyes, and jumps into puddles of who knows what just for fun?  I had to sit this race out.  According to the doctors my burns were more susceptible to bacterial infection.  In addition, I could only give a solid grip with one hand without withering in pain from the grip on my injured hand.  The race I was missing was Bonefrog.  I was planning on completing the Tier 1 leg.  This race was new to Florida and it is one of the very few Obstacle Course Races which have come to Florida that have a 15+ mile endurance length.  I was sad and frustrated with myself.  On top of those feelings my husband was still running it and wanted me to tag along.  In frustration and a little curiosity I woke up early on Saturday morning and headed east to Rock On Adventures, where Bonefrog was being held, to sit in the team tent and wait for everyone to finish.  Honestly, I was mad I was there.  I felt like a kid in elementary school that no one wanted to play with.  All my friends were out having fun and here I was the “bubble girl” who couldn’t get dirty.  Luckily for me, but sad for him, another team mate of mine was also there sitting on the bench.  He
Team MudRunFun Injured Bench
had a much better injury story than I did and got pretty banged up at a recent Obstacle Course Race.  Unfortunately, he has to miss several races, where as I, may only have to miss this one.  Having a companion on the sidelines made the outlook a little bit better for me especially knowing we were able to pout together while supporting our team and friends.  I expected to be sad the entire day and forced to put on a fake smile as people said hello. I expected to be miserable while watching everyone have fun while I was sitting in a chair doing nothing.  However, something completely different and unexpected happened.  Friends and team mates of mine who were completing their Tier 1 challenge began running past the team tent.  Some of these team mates did not look so good being out on the course for 9 miles, in the Florida sun, and knowing they had at least another 6 to go they were eyeballing the tent area and quitting.  Some were out of water, a few didn’t even bring endurance supplements, and some were showing signs of heat sickness.  Like a hawk my motherly instincts and endurance training exploded into one fast and furry frenzy.  I started picking my friends out of the crowd, yelling at them, grabbing them Gatorade, pulling them off into the shade for rest, making them chug chicken noodle soup even though they were about to throw it up, and more importantly, providing them with the small recovery they needed to continue and not give up.  After my husband finished and recovered we sat inside our team tent ensuring everyone finished.  We cheered them on, ate some food, planned out dinner, had a
few drinks and all of a sudden I realized I wasn’t so miserable sitting on the bench and I really hadn't been miserable all day.  I had become an integral part of a team, and on this particular day that team needed me there.  The next day on Facebook I woke up to over 100 notifications on my phone.  Several people had tagged me and thanked me for helping them get through the race.  If it hadn’t been for me they would not have finished and were forever grateful I was there with my emergency supplies.  I was absolutely humbled by the gratitude and came to peace with my injury.  I may have been on the sidelines but I wasn’t out of the game completely.  Because of my amazing team mates I felt needed and appreciated.  Yes I was on the bench, but I was still in the game.


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