15 years ago today I was hit by a car while walking across the street. I know, do I know how to cross the road?? Yes I think I do. :) There were two cars one in front of the cross walk waiting to make a left hand turn and one behind the cross walk waving me and two other people to cross. Then out of the blue (it always is out of the blue right?) a car come up behind both of them and boom! My left leg was then squished between the two cars. It all seemed to happen in slow motion (just like in the movies). The only thing was it wasn't the movies. Luckily I was the only one that got caught between the two cars. A nice stranger came over and talked to me and held my hand until the ambulance came. I had some super great doctors at the University of Maryland Medical Center. I split my femur like a banana peel (I guess that is not common b/c all the med students knew me because of the break) and broke my tib/fib plataeu. I have a knee that looks battered but basically works. I have had two skin grafts and a muscle from my calf twisted into the side of my knee so the skin graft had something to adhere to.
Pretty right? I had a lovely external fixator (which I dubbed the erector set) before this picture. Six pins sticking out of my leg. I now have a lovely titanium rod in my femur after breaking the same bad leg in a fall at school. Just call me superman!
It took a year to get back to work after learning to walk and learning what I could do with a knee that doesn't bend the way it should.
I truely believe that everything happens for a reason. I learned a lot from that accident. I didn't know how strong and tough I could be. I quickly learned I'm one tough girl. I changed my profession and went back to school to become an elementary teacher. Out of bad things, good things can come. If it wasn't for the accident I would never have gone back to school to become a teacher. Over the years I've had good days and bad days with my leg. There have been times when I've felt depressed over the entire thing, but in the end I've had more good days than bad. I have always thought I'm not going to let this accident get me down. I think I've made that happen.
How did I start running with a bad leg and knee? Well one day at school, some teachers started a walk/run club for some students. I thought I could walk, but I wonder if I could run without looking strange. I ran a bit and asked my friend Rachel to let me know if I looked weird with my gait. She said I looked fine and so I ran with some 4th and 5th graders. It was great because they would run the around the neighborhood near the school and they would stop by most of the crosswalks to wait for the other kids. So I had some nice rest breaks. After that I decided I would start to run and I signed up for my first 5K. After that first race I was hooked. I loved races. Soon my friend Kristen talked me into running The Cherry Blossom 10 miler.
The race that I only ran 4 miles before race day..agh..the misery I felt on race day! I vowed never to run that race again and this year I think it was my third year running Cherry Blossom. I guess never say never!
I may not be the fastest runner out there, but I'm putting one foot in front of the other. Sometimes I am truely amazed that I have the abilty to run. There are days that I back off from running because my knee is achy and there are days that I back off of running because I'm just being lazy..but I know that I will continue to run more races. This year as I became a half fanatic with Megan, I realized that I am lucky to be a runner and 4 years ago I would not have been able to call myself a runner. Since that first run four years ago I have ran 7 half marathons, two 10K's, five 10 milers, one 20K, two 4 milers, eleven 5k's and tw 8k's. That's a lot of miles on my bionic leg.