How do I say this without sounding like a moron? I still have delusions of being a super-hero. I used to be able to run without incident, other than some leakage. I blame that on two pregnancies that stretched out my pelvic muscles like spandex on a hippo. Nevertheless, I had been in the habit of responding without thought to the sound of children screaming. Friday was no exception.
I was sitting on my back porch when I spotted a boy running along the far bank of the lake behind my house. As soon as he disappeared from view, I heard a girl screaming. Kids playing, was my first thought. Then I heard her scream, “What are you doing?” My kids may be in their late twenties, but my maternal instincts galloped in, replacing any hope of cognitive reasoning.
I threw on my shoes, grabbed the dog, and dashed for the nature trail. After only about twenty feet of dashing, one of the long muscles in my leg felt like it shifted at least two inches to the left, resulting in paralyzing pain.
“Just a cramp, I can walk it off.” I thought.
I was well down the opening stretch and headed for the first turn, when I realized that the pain was not going away. I released the hound from the leash, hoping that he would run ahead and scare any would-be attacker away. Instead he ran around me in circles shouting, “hooray!” in doggie language.
I thought about football players who develop cramps in their legs when they have to play in heat and humidity. What would LT do? Ladanian would limp over to the bench to get a drink. That was it! I just needed to hydrate. I actually thought of returning to the house until I realized that I had no Gatorade. I wasn’t sure that plain old water would be the quick fix that I needed.
Never did it cross my mind to call for backup. Instead, I hobbled as fast as I could through the backstretch. The clubhouse turn was a field of large loose granite rocks. This had been the site of the disaster that nearly killed my mother last spring. Only slightly deterred, I grimaced and started down the rocky slope. By the time I climbed up the other side and reached the scene of the screaming, I was in tears.
Nobody there. I searched the nearby woods and made a thorough sweep despite the searing pain. I decided that they must have been playing. They could have played a game of Monopoly in the time it had taken me to get there.
Now, instead of Wonder Woman, I sit on my back porch with leg propped up and binoculars at the ready, like Jimmy Stewart in the Alfred Hitchcock thriller, Rear Window. Next time I see bad guys perpetrating evil on the neighborhood, I’ll just have to admit that I’m getting too old for this and take the invisible jet instead.