Tonight we went to a local Steamboat Springs park with the kids. This park has a merry-go-round. Remember merry-go-rounds? Those super fun, completely terrifying metal playground fixtures from our childhoods? I have always loved them. I like to spin. I love to get dizzy. Twirling on a tire swing until I can’t see straight makes me happy. Tilt-a-Whirl? My favorite amusement park ride. I will lay flat on my back in the center of the merry-go-round and watch the clouds rotate until I think I can’t stand it anymore. Then, when I get finally get off and fall over I will get right back on and do it again. I never get tired of it. My children, like their mother, love to spin, so to the park we went.
The four boys ran straight to the merry-go-round. The adults followed. Being the only one of the four adults who tolerates spinning, I hopped on with the boys. I smiled like crazy as the force of the movement tossed me around. I spun with the boys for several minutes before deciding it was my turn to push. I hopped off to give it the Old Mom Power-Up Push. I soon realized I was wearing the wrong shoes to be tearing around on wood chips, though, because when I went to jump on this time at Mom Warp Speed I slipped a bit and instead of jumping on I fell onto the unforgiving metal with my very soft left shin. It hurt, but I managed to pull myself onto the spinning base without falling off. I braced myself on one of the metal stands and checked out my leg. A raised bruise was already forming. Lovely. This is probably why you don’t find many merry-go-rounds in modern playgrounds. My friend had seen my fall and asked me if I was okay. I assured her I was as I sat back again, watched the clouds fly by, ignored the throbbing in my leg, and enjoyed the spin.
You would think that would have been enough injury to convince me that perhaps this 44 year old body should not be jumping onto merry-go-rounds…at least not in super cute but completely impractical merry-go-round-running sandals. You would be wrong. Did I mention that I love to spin? When the ride stopped, I hopped off again and offered to push. This time, I spun it in the other direction, as if that was what kept me from making the platform full on the first time. (Yes. I am blonde. And your point is?) This time, my right shin took the beating. My shoe got caught as I attempted to jump on and as my leg hit the platform it was dragged mercilessly across the coarse metal. I knew immediately and without looking that this was a worse injury than the last one. Once I was settled and could safely glance at my wound, I noticed an inch-long flap of skin had been pulled back, the white skin underneath was exposed and already beaded with blood. Crap. I hate it when that happens.
I stayed seated until the ride came to a full and complete stop, jumped off with resignation, and asked if we could head home so I could bandage up my wound, which was now full-on bleeding down my leg. Once home, I doctored myself up, took a couple Advil, plunked down on the couch, propped my legs up, and put some ice on the rapidly rising bruises on both shins. Hubby inspected the damage thoughtfully.
“It was the shoes,” I said. “I was wearing the wrong shoes. You just can’t run and jump on a revolving merry-go-round in cute sandals like those,” I told him, justifying my injuries.
He smiled at me and said nothing because he’s super smart that way.
Statistically speaking, the swings record the highest incidence of playground injury, 22% to only a paltry 1% for my pal the merry-go-round. I stand by the assertion that it was incorrect footwear that resulted in my bruised and battered shins and not user error, the inability of white women to jump, or old age. If life is about the ride, my ride is a spinning one. Next time I decide to jump on an already revolving merry-go-round, I’ll simply make sure I’m wearing more appropriate shoes. And maybe some shin guards.