This I Believe

Luis - Santa Maria, California
Entered on July 3, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

The day started out like any other day. I got ready for school, ate my breakfast and I was on my way to school. Through out the day, I had one thing on mind, which was spring break. I wanted to indulge in brain dead activities and just forget about school. There were two days left until I was temporarily free of educational activities.

The end of the school day arrived and I went home dropped of my backpack, got my bike and went to Jaime’s house. We wanted to finish the ramp we had started a couple of days ago and about two hours later it was complete. The ramp stood about three and half feet high and six feet long.

I wanted to test the stability of the ramp before the first jump, so I accelerated my bike to moderate speed, just enough to clear the ramp. The test run was better than I expected and outcome of the ramp was very satisfying. My first jump was about five feet in the air, then Jaime followed and jumped slightly higher. We went back and forth for a while to get comfortable with the ramp. We switched bikes, I went back further then my previous run to try and get more velocity. I lined up with the ramp, stood up and peddled. I hit the ramp and as I was approaching the end of the ramp I bunny hopped the bike and pulled up on the handle bars. As I was reaching the maximum height of the trajectory, I looked down at the ground and leaned back to get ready for the landing. I noticed the front wheel was slipping off the fork, the nuts had fallen off, and the wheel came next. The rear wheel hit the ground first and the front fork scrapped against the ground. As the bike tried to move forward the fork scrapping against the ground restricted the motion and caused the rear wheel to rotate towards the handle bars. I somersaulted over the handle bars and landed on my left shoulder and rolled on to my back. I instantly got on my feet and tried to walk and suddenly I felt a very sharp pain between my left shoulder and neck and then fell to the ground. The pain was excruciating and I was unable to lift my head. I couldn’t think of anything else but the throbbing pain.

I got back from the hospital in an arm sling. I had fractured my collar bone with only one day of school before spring break. As I spent my spring break lying down, I wasn’t mad about fracturing my collar bone or the pain that came with it, I realized something. The instant before it all happened I would have never imagined that my spring break would have turned out this way. That one simple choice could restrict you from so many other opportunities. Taking the time to tighten the nuts would have eliminating this whole situation, something so simple but yet so crucial.