Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Battle Scars

It is Tour de France time again, and every morning I’m glued to the TV as long as possible before I have to go to work, then I turn on my computer to see the live stream of who wins each stage. And they still amaze me – these guys who bike across France, up and down mountains, crashing and recovering, sometimes riding on in spite of gashed elbows and broken bones.

Since I’m not much of a sporting-type, I don’t have many battle scars or markings of bravery. The only real injury I’ve ever had (knock on wood, please) was from doing the jitterbug on a concrete stage in Branson for a year, two shows a day, when I got tendonitis in my wrist. I have to admit it’s a little fun telling people that my occasional wrist brace is from a jitterbug injury.

The scar I’ve had for the longest time is from when I was 3 years old or so, and there was a flat round barbecue grill base sitting on our front porch, just sitting there enticingly with no grill and no stand. For some reason I played inside it with my kitten, and when I got up I cut my ankle on the metal piece that stuck up to hold the missing grill. I went to the emergency room for that one, and it is still prominent on my ankle, complete with little spidery stitch marks.

I also have a scar on my shin from a curling iron. A strange location, yes, but it’s from sitting on the floor in my dorm room in college, trying in vain to do something with my hair. I remember the skin kind of melting away in slow motion as the hot metal hit my leg.

My only true sports scar is from tennis, on the back of my right shoulder. How, you wonder, did I get a tennis scar there? My friend and I were playing doubles with two guys, and I dove for a backhand in an attempt to impress our opponents. I assure you I was very impressive, since I didn’t intend to actually dive. But I don’t have to tell anyone that.

So, I watch the Tour de France every year with awe, as the cyclists ride along with blood-covered faces and ripped jerseys, across the mountains in 90 degree heat, while I watch from my air-conditioned living room on our overstuffed sofa with George. Do you think Lance Armstrong would be impressed by my tennis scar?

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