In the middle of January a few clients noticed that I had a number of band-aids and skin dressings on both elbows, knees and wrists. I will try to explain why.
It all started one early morning when I was walking my dogs through the paddock. I noticed a tree that had fallen over, and my dogs were enjoying chasing each other and jumping back and forth over the trunk (log). They were having a wonderful time and I decided to join in. The trunk was around 60 centimetres in height (or as we “handymen” say – around 600 mm) and I can remember jumping fences when I was young well over a meter (1000mm) in height with ease. I knew this trunk was not going to be a problem and for a super fit athlete such as myself – this was going to be a “breeze”.
My brain immediately started to compute the speed I would need to attain, the point at which I would need to launch myself in the air, the height I would need to get to clear the log. I could not see any problems with my calculations.
Inside my head was a voice talking to me. My 17-year-old brain “Gee you have put a bit of weight on since we last talked. But you can do this Davo – it will be a breeze”.
I commenced my run around 10 meters from the log. Like all elite athletes I leaned forward from the waist, bent the knees and madly pumping my arms at the beginning of the run intending to hit maximum speed just as I got to the launching point one meter from the log.
At the 2-meter mark I could imagine the crowd cheering me on. My 25-year-old brain “Are you aware that your stomach is hitting you in the chin with each step? Come on Davo, just the bit faster”.
At the 4-meter mark I noticed that my speed was dropping, and I was puffing, and my heart was trying to escape from my chest. My 40-year-old brain “You are slackening off Dumbo, you need to pump those small legs of yours faster and swing your arms harder”.
By the 6-meter mark my sight was getting blurry and the world had turned red. My 50-year-old brain “Have you paid your Life Insurance?”.
By the 8-meter mark I was a bit staggery, but I still pounded on – nothing was going to deter me. I was determined and dedicated to the success of the jump. My 60-year-old brain “You are going to die!”
I hit the launch spot at 9 -meter mark and leapt into the air – nothing was going to stop me now. BUT a few areas had not worked out the way I wanted them to.
- The speed I needed to achieve the length and height of the jump was not the speed I was travelling at.
- The launch angle was calculated to be at least 60 degrees to be able to achieve the height necessary to clear the log, but the achieved angle was more like 15 degrees.
- The height necessary to make the jump had to be over 600mm (the height of the log) but the height achieved was only 200 mm.
Consequently, when we add all these factors together – the chance of success was greatly diminished but I was committed – there was no turning back (I was now in the air rushing towards a log at “a great rate of knots”). In my mind, as I watched the log rush towards me, I heard a voice in my head “Houston – we have a problem!”
I hit the log with my right leg extended and that stopped the forward movement of the leg, but the rest of my body kept going. Now the left knee rammed into the top third of the log causing that leg to stop moving but again the rest of the upper body continued on its merry journey. At this moment in time both legs were now stretched behind me and the body was now parallel to the ground as I flipped over the top of the log.
I then started my downward projection towards the ground with my head leading the charge – another thought went through the brain “Who would have thought there would be a big pile of rocks on this side of the log? Bugger, this is going to hurt!”.
I managed to get my hands and arms in front of the face just before impact with ground. They took the brunt of the damage leading to skin and tissue being left behind on the ground and on the log.
As I lay there on the ground, a broken man, a few thoughts went through my brain (I have “cleaned” them up for those readers who are a little sensitive)
“Crickey – that did not go well”.
“I wonder how I am going to explain the torn clothes and body to my wife?”
“I wonder how I am going to stand up?”
“I wish those dogs were not licking my face?”
“I never realised I had so much blood”.
I did eventually hobble home but that is another story for the future. I am now healing well and by the time you read this I should have removed the dressings and just be left with the mental scars.