7 Quick Takes #46 x FTSF

— 1 —
Finish the Sentence Friday

The bravest thing I’ve ever done is…get back on my bicycle.

Let me set the scene for you.

It was a dark, autumnal night and I was cycling home from work. There’s a long, slow, fun hill on that route, which you can pick up some speed on, and freewheel down.  It’s a busy road, and there are lots of cars which zip past, though the speed limit’s only 30mph. There are houses and businesses, and at the point in question, an industrial park, with large stores and a big gym.

In front of the industrial park are a number of car-parks for the patrons of the stores. The access and egress points to those car-parks are from the busy road (do you have an inkling where this is going?)

It being a Dark Night, I had my bike lights on; at the time, I even had funky blue LED tyre-cap cappers. I was wearing a light coloured coat. I had my cycle helmet on.

And I was zooming down the road, giving it some welly, because I wanted to be HOME!

A car up ahead was driving through the car-park towards the road. It got to the part across the pavement, about to join the road (any ideas now?)

A car was behind me on my right, in my blind spot (on the right, cos I’m English, and that’s how we drive).

I was lit up like a Christmas tree, on a road with plentya street lights and other cars around.

The car kept coming. The car in my blind spot prevented me from swerving out.

The car kept coming, I had no time to brake.

The car kept coming.

I couldn’t stop.

The car drove forward, and I hit the side of the bonnet and flew over the top of it, landing head-first in the road on the other side.

Head. First.

I saw the bonnet of the car underneath me; then nothing. I felt the crack and bounce as my helmet hit the floor. I then felt the almost cartoon-like, slow-motion impacts as my left shoulder then my left hip, then my left knee, and finally my right foot, hit the ground. Hit heavy.

I came to on my side, aching. The road was next to my face. I was cold and uncomfortable and lying in the dirt. My foot hurt like a bitch. People were shouting and blurs were moving towards me.

My first reaction was absolute outrage and indignation “He HIT ME! He actually KNOCKED ME OFF MY BIKE!!!!!”

I tried to get up, and was pressed back down by the hands and voices which belonged to the blurs. People were all round me, on phones, calling the police, the ambulance, telling me to lie still – not to move my neck.

My adrenaline was pumping. “What happened? What happened to me?” I kept asking. And then, after they told me, my next most important question; “Where’s my shoe? I need my shoe back! My foot hurts…where’s my shoe?”

One of the blurs found my phone and dialed my Mum’s number – “Mum – it’s me – can you come to the hospital? I’ve been hit by a car. I think I’m okay – can you meet me there?”
 
The ambulance were quick, and everyone joked about how great it was to get hit by a car only five minutes from the hospital. Someone put my sorry, mangled excuse for a bike propped up by the signpost to the gym. I was strapped into a neck brace and back-board and carried onto the ambulance (with my shoe tucked kindly under the gurney).

The ambulance ride is a blur, but it was quick, and on the way into the hospital, I mentioned that the ceiling tiles along the corridor were pretty boring. The paramedic was bemused, “Most patients have more important things on their minds than the ceiling.” he told me.

I was put in a cubicle and waited while Mum arrived.

The adrenaline was wearing off, and I was starting to really, really hurt.

When she arrived, I told her of my adventures and how I still couldn’t believe it really happened. And then I cried – in shock, in pain, and because she was there, and she had been frightened, and because I wanted desperately to be at home, not in hospital, not Hit By Car.

But I was Hit By Car. And I needed painkillers (paracetamol – two – tablets – to try to swallow whilst strapped horizontally to a backboard, in a neck-brace, with water fed to me through a straw – thanks SO MUCH!) and an X-ray.

Once the x-ray was done, the doctors came back. They wore amazed expressions.

“You’re bumped and bruised, and you’re going to be sore for a while…but you’re fine. There are no broken bones – no broken anything – no internal bleeding – nothing. We were told that you were doing about 25mph when the car pulled out in front of you – we would normally expect far worse injuries than this – you’ve been incredibly lucky!”

For the next two days while the lump on the side of my head went down from half-grapefruit to half-orange to half-egg to half-lump to sore patch, and every muscle in my body gradually un-wrenched itself, I didn’t feel too lucky.

But when I came to throw away my broken helmet, and realised that without it, my brains would probably have been smashed all over the pavement – 25mph over the bonnet of a car, then head-first into the road – I realised how incredibly lucky and protected I had been.

Once I was well, I took several deep breaths and took my bike back out there. On the roads. Terrified-ly at first, but gradually increasing in confidence, until now, when I ride, I rarely think “I might die on the road today.”

But I do always, always, always wear my new helmet.

And so should every cyclist.

— 2 —

My first week of work has gone absolutely marvellously, superbly, brilliantly wonderfully well. More on that tomorrow, in Ten Things of Thankful – the EMPLOYED version.

— 3 —

I was pleased to be featured over at ScaryMommy.com with my post The Invisible Moms’ Club – written for every woman who has lost a child. The response I received in terms of number of shares, and (more  wonderfully) the volume of beautiful, heartbreaking, gorgeous comments full of hurt and Truth and understanding and the desire not to feel Alone, was utterly humbling, staggering, and inspiring. I LOVE that through writing, I am able to (somehow) make a small difference to others.

— 4 —

I had an EPIC (and totally shallow, I know) fangirl moment today, when Glennon Melton (of the ever-awesome and wonderful Momastery) followed me back on Twitter. It’s a little pathetic, but this made my evening – I have SO MUCH time for this wonderful lady and the way she writes and the things she says. There are relatively few people (other than Kristi) whose writing gets under my skin in quite the same way…

— 5 —

The Blogger Idol Final 13 were shared today. A few bloggers I know are in the final line-up, but none of my personal faves, which sucked. I really thought the judges would have a *little* more discretion, and that actually, I could’ve done a better job myself, but I’ll save my grousing.

Come and show a little commiseratory love to MY BLOGGER IDOLS:

And to cheer them on – my cheerleader outfit (and purple pom-poms), for a final time
— 6 —

At the moment, I ADORE this song. Just do. It has nothing to do with me, or my situation, or even my viewpoint – I just love it and can’t hear it enough.

— 7 —

This week we heard from Zoe, of Rewritten, in our FINAL co-host interview. Come back on Saturday or Sunday to join in your list of Ten Things of Thankful, to read everyone else’s and to join our lovely community of Thankful People.

And watch this space for what’s afoot for next Thursday! I got plans!

Take care, yo!

Ten Things of Thankful

For more Quick Takes, probably less fan-girl, and (I suspect) less car crash, visit Conversion Diary!

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40 thoughts on “7 Quick Takes #46 x FTSF

  1. You may or may not need tissues, but thanks for heading on over there 🙂 *hugs*

    The two I mention there – Glennon and Kristi – you MUST read. Must must must. Because they're so awesome, and their writing is absolutely compelling.

    Glad you liked the drawing 😀 I'm also glad I healed quickly!

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  2. I have so many comments! first your drawing is hysterical. second you are so brave and obviously take great care of yourself to heal so quickly and to have so few injuries to soak of from such an event. I love your blogidol list and I can't wait to read the ladies who get under your skin, must be done talent. heading over to read the invisible moms club with tissues in hand.

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  3. Nope – not so fortunate as to have the 'near miss', but I think the helmet was probably more of an important factor in my 'near miss' with Not Dying as the result! Boy am I ever glad I had it on! I'm totally vigilant about it now, and it's a real 'soapbox' thing for me – especially when I see kids being let to ride without helmets – accidents are RARELY the cyclist's fault, and there's just no knowing what cars are gonna do!

    Thank you – you can calm down now – happy ending, right? 😀

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  4. Oh…My…GOD!!!! I had no idea. As I was reading I thought SURELY this would be a close call only, because there was no way you got HIT BY A CAR! GAH!!! I cannot believe this happened to you! THANK GOD FOR YOUR HELMET and the fact that you were smart enough to wear one. And the fact that you were not seriously injured…wow. It's a miracle.
    So, as I sit here with my heart *still* racing, I think YES…getting back on a bike was an incredibly brave thing to do. You're amazing!! –Lisa

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  5. Lol thanks for the vote of confidence there, Katia 😀 There certainly was a painful kind of humour in it!

    YES! I was! Again. Second time. LOVE it there 😀 Hope you like it – it's not a happy one, but it's a lovely one.

    Thank you for making me feel slightly less crazy for being so excited about that follow back! Jon Bernthal! I'm impressed! Awesome – GO YOU! 😀

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  6. Oh, Lizzi. It takes a Lizzi to paint this cartoon and see the humour in the situation and it takes a Lizzi to get back on that bike. I am not surprised. Although am obviously shocked.

    I had no idea you were on Scary Mommy, I'll go look for the post. I am sure it was amazing.

    And finally, everyone deserves a fangirl fantasy come true. Whenever I want to feel good,I turn to my twitter follower list and marvel at the fact that it says “you follow each other” next to Jon Bernthal's twitter handle. Is my The Walking Dead crush.

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  7. WOW! Well done you! I would've done that, but for the being held down in the road part. And the fact that he stopped.

    He never spoke to me, but the police wrote months later to tell me he'd been sent on a 'safer driving' course. I only hope the experience traumatised him so much he's been hyper-careful ever since!

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  8. Yeah, Jill doesn't follow me – I just follow her and try to shout out to her now and again 😉

    But wow! I had a total epic silly-meltdown-moment – Glennon's such an inspiring person/writer, and I adore reading Momastery. I even made sure I got given her book for my birthday! LOL! I just need a t-shirt now and my dork-status will be complete 😀

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  9. I sometimes FEEL brave when I blog, too, and in fact, sharing the Real Stuff on here can be far more frightening than getting back on that bike ever was.

    But absolutely! If I hadn't been wearing that helmet! Truly doesn't bear thinking about.

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  10. I think that's one of the things I most dislike about driving in a City – all the bike messengers. Because of how close everything is, I'm already stressed that someone will decide to open their car door as I pass them parked on the side of the road. Add a bike messenger to the equation and I'm in knots expecting someone to open their door, knock him off his bike and me run him over! Glad all worked out OK. I once had a similar experience of looking down and see a car going under me … only I was WALKING! What an idiot! Waited until I was directly in front of him and jumped a light at an intersection. I somehow managed to not only avoid injury, but avoid spilling my coffee LOL.

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  11. mine was a hit and run. And when I get knocked down I was so pissed off I got up and put a rock through his rear windshield.I use to have a temper issue.so glad the job is going well!!!!! can't wait to read about it.!!!!!!!

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  12. So glad you were okay! Thank goodness for airbags.

    You're very welcome for the shout-out 🙂 I was really impressed with the number (and calibre) of people I knew who entered, and gutted that all of the ones I supported were passed over for selection 😦

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  13. Thanks Karen. I don't think it was concussion in the end – certainly I don't remember any of the aftercare being about keeping an eye out for it – though if I was concussed, I probably wouldn't remember.

    It was only a very momentary blackout – somewhere between being aware of hitting the ground and being aware of waking up on it.

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  14. You entered – you had as much chance as anyone, and anyway, the judges decisions were sucky. Three men in the finals? Can you say 'rigged out of proportion much'? *griping AGAIN*

    But I like your blog, and LOVE the TMT and all the fun which happens over chez toi.

    And AMEN TO THAT!

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  15. WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT! Oh. Em. Gee. I've totally just been over to yours and thought “Hey, we didn't copy each other at all this week” and now I come here and find – Oops, we did it again (in a different way). Wow!

    I am laughing my ass off over here at how funny this 'thing' is (whatever it is we got going here) This is hysterical 🙂

    I'm glad you were alright, twice. Thank goodness! Sounds as though you were also brave and got back on, so well done for that.

    And I absolutely and of course would name you as one of my Blogger Idols. I don't care that you lost their BS competition *gripes again* – they're just dumb silly-billies who don't recognise greatness. And Our Land and the rest of your blog, is truly Great.

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  16. Hope you wear one if you get back on that bike! Let me be a warning to ya! 😉

    The job's going lovely, thanks 🙂

    And you're welcome – I know a lot of people entered kindasorta hoping not to get the huge pile of work going through the rounds at the end, but entering it was probably still fun – we all had fun with it, anyway. I loved cheering everyone on 😀

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  17. SOMEBODY ROBBED HER! While she was LYING IN THE STREET!

    WTactualF!

    Maaaaan that makes me want to pound on someone :/ Hope she was alright afterwards. I can't believe anyone would be so utterly heartless. That's the nasty side of humanity right there 😦

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  18. Lucky indeed! It could've been so much different! So glad it was all alright!

    Good *grinning* You know I love your blog and think you're completely fab 😀 (and it WAS a dumb ol' contest. Nerts to it!!)

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  19. This was maybe 6 or 7 years ago. The walking away unscathed part still astonishes me.

    Your old neighbourhood sounds great, though I doubt I would've ever tried the Curve of Death on roller skates – falling off them is WAY painful! Too many skinned knees in my past for that! Glad it was a safe hill though, and that none of you got Hit By a Car.

    *sigh* It wasn't even a hook. But now you mention it, I DID see a tweet from the Pope the other day. But I didn't follow him back (@pontifex, if you're interested…) and BAH! :p

    The job post will be a really cool one to do.

    The B.I. commiserations were not fun 😦 I wanted those guys to go far in this.

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  20. I hate driving past cyclists now. I'm so hyper-aware of them. I also hate when cyclists OR drivers are inconsiderate to one another – there's just no need!

    And absolutely so pleased I was okay!

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  21. You're so sweet thank you! My life has been very upside down, can you believe I forgot about blogger idol? There is no way I could have pulled it off this year anyway. But I love you for believing in me! And THANK GOD FOR HELMETS!

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  22. OMG. I've been “run over” on my bike twice. Twice. Both times, I ended up in the ER but was fine. And I'm kindof freaking out right now how similar our lives are…and well. Yeah. Mostly just glad you are okay. Totally glad you were okay and also that you were brave enough to get back on the bike!!!

    Thanks for naming me as a blogger idol, even though I lost…and thanks for shouting me out. I hugely lovingly and humbly appreciate it. So much…

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  23. WOW. How scary!!! You are indeed brave for getting back on the bike. And what a great message about wearing a helmet. I used to bike a lot in college and never wore one…. how crazy…
    So glad the new job is going well for you.
    And thanks for the shout-out and cheerleading. It was a bummer to not make it, but in a way, probably for the best as I have so much going on right now. I'm eager to follow the competition though!

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  24. NO way! That is a terrifying experience, and I'm so glad you were wearing a helmet! A friend of mine was hit by a car when she was on foot, and then while she was lying in the street somebody robbed her. That is some seriously bad karma. Glad yours had a happy ending, and yes, it certainly qualifies as brave to get back on your bike!

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  25. That is a frightening story, Lizzi – you were very lucky that day. And I am lucky to have you in my corner – having you name me a blogger idol means more to me than a dumb ol' contest. Thank you!

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  26. Holy crap! You got hit by a car!! And walked away without a broken anything! How long ago was that?
    Before I realized you were going to BE HIT BY A CAR, I was reminded of our days in our old neighborhood. It was a great place to grow up, with a bike path all through it. There was one gigantic hill, and partway down there was a curve. The “curve of death” really. We thought we were so brave, going down that hill on roller skates, unable to stop. That curve of death was scary! But the hill straightened out before we got to the road, so no one ever GOT HIT BY A CAR! 🙂
    I don't care if the pope followed you, I'm not joining twitter. (But that is extremely cool that Glennon followed you.)
    Can't wait to hear all about the job!
    Bummer about all the blogger idol folks.

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  27. I was a little stuck, it being my only form of transport at the time – that might make it a little less brave and a little more necessary, but let's keep that between you and I 😉

    I'm pleased for the guys I do know in the actual real final 13, but I love my favourites too much to not be gutted they were overlooked. See you soon, at FTSF, when it goes live (well, after – as I'm going to bed now – but I'll be there 😀 )

    Thanks Janine – you rock x

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  28. Lizzi, you are so brave and not sure I would have been able to get back on a bike if I got hit by a car. Seriously, you are my hero just from reading your experience. I can't even imagine. And I did see the list and congrats to all that made it to the final 13 and I really proud of so many that I do read and know. Thanks seriously for linking up and hope the rest of the work week is good to you now!! 🙂

    Like

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