Chapter 6: Why did I just fall off the joust pedestal before the battle even started?
I grew up with two guys who I consider family. One of them, Chip, has a daughter who we all adore. I wanted to spend time with both, so I asked the daughter what she wanted to do. She picked an afternoon of fun and games at a local adventure zone. Cool beans.
After a very delicious bourgeois lunch, we were off to the adventure zone. I grabbed my sister to make our group an even four in case there were any competition games. Upon arrival, something told me I should sit my 40 year old ass down somewhere.
But when have I ever listened to reason?
We went into the adventure zone and looked around. There was a laser tag course, dodgeball, a rock climbing wall, and even an obstacle course designed to mirror ninja obstacle courses on tv. I looked at Chip’s daughter who had the huge grin plastered across her face. It was time to play and we were holding things up with foolish activities like the registration process and paying.
I walked up to the counter and was immediately hit with the liability waiver. See, that should tell you something when you have to sign a form releasing liability from the owners if you get hurt. Another sign I needed to sit my old ass down somewhere. But we cannot disappoint the kids.
Once we signed and paid, we asked the kid what she wanted to do first. Inside, I was praying she wanted to play miniature golf.
No such luck.
She took off in the direction of the ninja course.
Of course that’s what you want to do. I walked over reluctantly.
My sister, Chip and his daughter are all in much better shape than I. Let’s be clear about that from the start. Yes we all are wearing sneakers with comfy clothes, but physically? I was perfectly designed for the bench. Therefore, it made perfect sense for me to sit out this first “Round of Fun”.
“Punk ass” Chip said under his breath.
You know he was right, but I wasn’t about to be peer pressured into getting on this course. The first part of it required you to navigate a series of hoops using your hand and arm strength to support your body.
Duuuudddeee… Have you seen my arms? No muscles. Not even an indication that future muscles may grow there. Nothing.
I retreated to the bench to cheer from the side lines.
“I’ll do the next one” I promised.
My sister, Chip and his daughter took off. My sister, who is about 5’6” and 120 lbs soaking wet and a runner, was navigating the course really well considering her first time. Chip’s daughter was AMAZING and she isn’t even that tall. I mean the girl is only 9 years old. The determination of this young lady was astonishing. When she reached something she couldn’t do, she decided to keep trying until she made it.
We can all learn from this kid!
Anyway, Chip decided to take on the winner of the first two person race, which ended up being his daughter. My sister gave it a good college try but she ran head first into the climbing wall and slid down.
Cue the Price Is Right Game Show: “You Lose” music, please.
Chip is a natural born athlete. Standing no less than 6’2”, this guy plays football as well as he swings a golf club. There was no surprise when he dominated this course, only pausing to give his daughter support. He flew through the course in record time and seemed to jump over the climbing wall like a tall Black Superman.
All the reasons why my challenging him to a joust seemed even more ridiculous. But I digress…
After the ninja course, we headed to a ball pit where there were trampolines and all sorts of cushioned fun. My kinda place. We all took turns bouncing on the trampolines but cautiously stayed away from the ball pit.
You all remember the ball pit right? Huge area filled with colorful plastic balls. This area is designed to jump, fall or dive into with no worries of injury because of the massive amount of plastic balls. No one has ever seen the bottom of this massive pit, but for some reason if you touched the bottom, your socks were always wet. All ball pits have wet bottoms. All of them.
Really? All ball pits? What causes wet socks? As an adult, I have to conclude hepatitis or syphilis. Nothing good can be in a pit of balls that have NEVER been washed with millions of kids jumping in. And I don’t need a shot. If you are wondering why, I would like to invite you to skip to Chapter 10.
READ IT, DAMN IT.
Back to my story.
After breaking a sweat, we notice there is a jousting area with huge foam sticks. Seems simple enough. Whack your opponent with the foam stick enough to make them lose balance and fall into a padded area below. The area below was about 2-3 feet down so no major harm could happen.
Or so I thought.
“Hey Chip, I challenge you!” I yelled.
Chip smiled at me in disbelief. “Girl, go sit down somewhere” he said dismissing me. I was sure he rolled his eyes.
“I’m serious, get your butt up there” I said.
Without hesitation, Chip grabbed a jousting stick and hopped on the pole. I did the same but I didn’t hop. You all know I have issues with poles (Oh, wait, you haven’t read Chapter 7 yet… Just take my word for it for now).
I am facing my opponent. I noticed some kids stopped to watch. Chip is going down, I thought. I just need one good swing and I am golden, I thought.
Chip is smiling confidently. He’s my brother, he won’t attack me or will he? Inquiring minds wanna know.
Chip gets into a good stance and readies his stick.
I step back to brace myself.
I step back into my warrior stance…
I step back into the only non padded area on the pole we were standing upon. This isn’t going to be good, I thought, as I immediately felt myself falling down.
“Oh Shi---!!!” I yelled as I felt my whole body slide off the pole onto the padded mat below. Directly onto my right ankle. Don’t ask where my left foot went. I guess she threw up the deuces (PEACE OUT!) and burned out on me.
The pain was unbearable. I felt tears forming but refused to let them fall with all these damn kids around me. My ankle rolled under all this body weight I was now applying to it.
WTF, why can’t I fall gracefully? Nope. the loudest sound you probably ever heard.
There I lay, in extreme pain. In the most unattractive position you can imagine.
“I cannot believe this!” Chip exclaimed. “I didn’t even touch you!”
Truer words have not been spoken. I fell trying to stabilize myself. Who does that? I do that.
I am sure everyone around me was laughing. All I could hear was my ankle audibly throbbing in pain. I looked down. Almost instantaneously, my ankle seemed to swell to twice it’s size.
“Are you ok?” Chip asked.
I am sure the dirty look I threw at him was all he needed to know.
“You better walk that shit off before it locks up on you” he said.
Again, he was right. I got up and pulled myself out of the pit by my arms. Walking was an absolute nightmare. I hobbled like an old lady over to the benches.
My fall seemed to inspire all the kids to challenge Chip to a joust. I watched as he patiently allowed them to get a couple of swings before knocking them off the pole. That is how you are SUPPOSED to play. He’s a good dad. And I am a hot mess.
Later, it was time to move to dodgeball. As I was attempting to walk down the steps to sit on the dodgeball bench (there are benches at each event), one of the employees came over. I guess he saw everything that was going on.
“Excuse me ma’am” he said.
As if I didn’t feel old enough.
“Are you ok?” he asked.
“Yeah, I’ll be fine.” I said, trying to be confident in my answer.
“Do you need an ice pack, some ibuprofen, we have aspirin and icy hot gel too if you want” he offered.
Apparently, this wasn’t the first time some old person fell during their time in the adventure zone. I thanked him for the offers and declined. I didn’t want to further my embarrassment by over medicating myself.
Just in case you were wondering, I did get to run around the laser tag course. Ok, ok, I was limping but I got the job done!
So, why did I fall off the joust pedestal before the battle? I don’t have to ask the Creator that one. I shouldn’t have had my old ass on the pedestal in the first place. Next question!