My Craziest Story
2 years ago today – Sunday, October 6, 2019 – I was hit by a car while on a run. I know that sounds super dramatic, but that’s exactly what happened. This is, by far, the craziest thing that’s ever happened to me, so let me have my moment.
It was around 5 or 6 o’clock in the evening in good ol’ Medical Lake, Washington when I decided to go on a short jog before my grandparents and aunt joined us for dinner.
I was almost home – literally less than a quarter mile away – when I saw this car speeding along the street that I was perpendicular to. At the intersection of the street I was running on and the road he was driving along, there are two stop signs – and one of them was for him.
He was going so fast, I didn’t think he was going to stop, but he did – hesitantly. He then stepped on the gas and turned the wheels toward me, so I thought he was turning onto the street I was on. Knowing this, I moved over from the edge of the road onto the grass next to me so he could have more room to drive past.
But instead of driving on the road, this driver goes past the stop sign and then turns onto the grassy side-yard of the house on the corner – which I am running on.
All that I remember is saying, “What in the world?!” and hearing loud voices (which I later learned was probably music) coming from the vehicle.
The driver’s car was headed straight toward me, but I didn’t really have time to move out of the way, so I took the hit. My shins (mostly the one on my right side) met with the front bumper, and I apparently did an awesome front roll/flip move before landing on my knees and forearms on the side of the road. After I landed, the driver fled the scene. *I think I sort of blacked out while I was flying in the air because I’ve never been able to remember what was going through my head/what I saw while that was happening, but I was told by some neighbors that saw the whole thing.
When I realized what had happened, I honestly didn’t think it was real. I was in complete shock. Luckily, there had been some people hanging around outside their homes at the time, and there was another driver on the road, so they came to check on me.
Since we live in a small town, some of them knew my family and me, so one of them reminded me to let my parents know what had happened.
A normal person (or someone who’s just not in shock) might’ve called their parents immediately, but I am not a normal person – and I was also in shock, so not a great combo. So what did I do?
I texted them. Actually, I only texted my mom. (Sorry, Dad.)
Then, I realized I should probably call them instead, so that’s when I called my dad. They were pretty freaked out – understandably – so they got in the car to drive to me, but I guess they were a little too panicky because they went to the wrong intersection… Eventually, they made it to me.
The other driver that was on the road had me sit in her car while we were waiting, and she helped me clean up my injuries. I had some road burn on the sides of my thighs, my forearms, and other random scratches scattered around. I also had a pretty nice gash on my right knee, as well as some bruising on my shins.
While all this was happening, someone called the cops, and they – along with an ambulance – arrived shortly after. An EMT checked my head and back to make sure I hadn’t messed anything up or gotten a concussion, but I was all clear. Then they looked at my scratches and bruising and said the only thing they would recommend was some stitches for the cut on my knee, so I had to go to the ER.
Since my injuries weren’t drastic, I was asked some questions by the cops before I left the scene. After that, I was able to get in my parents’ car and head to the ER.
We had to go grab some stuff from our house before leaving, and my family who was there for dinner was anxious to know what was going on. My mom ran in to grab a few things, and I said hi to my aunt, grandparents, and my siblings, and then we were off.
After checking into the ER, we had to wait for a while, but it wasn’t too bad. I remember the only thing that really sucked was the fact that the ER was freezing. I was shivering from the cold and from the shock/adrenaline rush; my legs would not stop bouncing. (I have never felt anywhere near that much adrenaline ever.) Luckily, I was given a blanket to keep me warm in the waiting room.
At one point, I got pulled to go get some x-rays done on my leg to make sure there was no damage to the bone. I remember I got up to start walking, and I was so wobbly that they asked me if I wanted a wheelchair. I said no because I didn’t think I needed one, but I was probably walking sooo painfully slow for them.
While we were waiting around, my parents updated family and friends on the situation. A lot of people were really freaked out – my grandparents that live an hour and a half from me drove all the way into town that night because they were so worried – but my parents and I were just joking around the whole time. *My dad and I like to joke about situations that we probably shouldn’t joke about, but at least we’re fun. (;
People were offering to bring us dinner since it was getting late, but we declined most of the offers. The one person that did meet us in the ER was my best friend, Alex. She had been at work while the accident happened, but I had been hit right outside her house, so she found out the second she got home. And as soon as she could, she picked up dinner (lots of it) and came to the hospital.
Eventually, I was taken back to a patient room and asked more questions. I got moved around quite a bit, but once I was in the right room, I was seen by a few different people; and eventually, I was prepped for stitches. I had never gotten stitches – or even been a patient in the hospital since I was born – so I was a little nervous but also excited because I love medical stuff. (;
I got a couple shots of numbing stuff inserted around my knee, and then they started stitching me up. I really could not feel a single thing when they were putting the stitches in, but I watched them do it. It was pretty cool to see, and they did it really fast, so I was out of there in no time.
Alex gave me a ride home that night, and I showed her where it had all happened. When I got home, I was greeted by my family that had originally been there for family taco night and was now waiting for me to get home from the hospital. After we went over the major details, I took a shower and waddled upstairs to my bedroom.
the week after
The next morning, my mom drove me to campus for classes so I didn’t have to try driving myself. Walking across campus in between classes was a bit of a doozy, but I got it done.
Later that afternoon, I had some cheer responsibilities to attend to, even though I couldn’t really participate. While I was watching, I got a phone call from a number I didn’t know. I let it ring and saw that they left a voicemail, so I listened and found out it was a local news station… they wanted to talk to me about my accident?!
I called back and they said they could be ready in barely any time at all, so I had to call my mom to pick me up and then we waited at the intersection where I was hit for them to arrive.
When they got there, I was mic’d up and told where to stand while they set up the cameras, and then they asked a few questions. It felt weird to be interviewed for the news. (;
My interview segment aired later that night (I think), and my family watched it live. It was very odd to see myself on TV.
Within the next few days, I got back to work and was able to start walking normally again – although it was very slow. That Friday (5 days after), I cheered during our school’s homecoming football game and was able to dance in the halftime routine!! And of course, I partied HARD at homecoming the next night.
This was most definitely the craziest thing that’s ever happened to me, but I’m honestly so glad it did. At that point in my life, I was stuck in a lot of negative thought cycles. As much as I wanted to shift my mindset and start thinking more positively, it seemed impossible. But after my accident, it felt like my brain did a complete 180; my thoughts were a lot more centered around gratitude and positivity than anything else.
Of course, I’m not saying that if you want to change your mindset, get hit by a car or anything like that (please don’t). Instead, try putting things in perspective.
You all know the cliché sayings about living life to the fullest, like you’re going to die tomorrow. And you know what? I completely agree with those. I mean, don’t go crazy and spend all your savings in one day, but make the most out of every moment. Think about all the things you take for granted, all the things you’re worried about for no reason. Those negative thoughts aren’t making you any happier, so why are you putting time and energy into them??
My mindset shift really took hold after I realized that what had happened to me was the best case scenario for an accident like that. I came out of it with a few scratches and ended up needing some stitches. No broken bones, no concussion, no long-term damage… I came out of it ALIVE. I’m luckier than a lot of others.
After realizing that, I was so overwhelmingly grateful – and I still feel that to this day. It’s amazing what we take for granted. I can run, walk, speak, hear, see, sing (not great, but still), dance, laugh, read, eat, drink, and SO much more!
I was also really struggling with my body image at this time, but after my accident, I started paying more attention to what my body can do for me, rather than focusing on what it looked like. And I think this is another thing we could all be working on – thanking our bodies for what they do for us instead of beating them up for what they look like.
All in all, it was a crazy experience, but I’m thankful that it happened. Not only did it help me shift my mindset around my body and life in general, but I was also surrounded with SO much love and support from family and friends. Thank you to everyone who checked in on me and helped me out during that time; I will never forget that. (:
Thanks for hopping onto my blog for this special post! I hope you enjoyed reading about the roller coaster ride that was my life 2 years ago – I know I had fun writing about it! See you back here on Friday! (: