Monday, October 14, 2013

Impact Moments

Yesterday the Auburn UU Fellowship service was a lay-led exchange of stories, people telling about times and events that had an impact on their lives. Judy and I couldn't get to the service, but I sent a story via email that Suzanne Walker read during the service. It's about learning to get over the values and attitudes of popular culture, so I guess that's relevant to this blog. The story -- 

I played high school football. In the very early 1950s. In practice, there were head-on tackling drills. (In those days, in Florida high school ball anyway, everyone played both ways, offense and defense). There was one guy on our team I was afraid of, Jack Peachey. About my size but much tougher and meaner, a running back who ran low and loved to run over people. Lining up on the tackler side of this drill, I would always look to see where Jack Peachey was in the runner line, and make sure I didn't get matched with him, the last guy I ever wanted to have to tackle. 

One day that happened. I must have been looking over at the girls on the sidelines. Stepped up to the tackler spot, looked up and there was Jack Peachey over there facing me, getting the ball. I had to re-tie my shoelaces, stalling, trying to think of some way to avoid having to tackle Jack Peachey. Decided I had to do it. He started running and I started running toward him, he got low, I got low, and we hit head-on, helmet to helmet. Impact!

Jack Peachey just jumped up and pranced around. I was out cold, face down in the grass, and when I began to regain consciousness, realized I was paralyzed, numb all over.
Luckily, it was temporary. I was able to get up, actually, was just pulled up by the coach – "Come on, Jimmy, run it off, boy!" I probably had suffered at least a slight concussion and was a bit foggy in the head the rest of the day.

Impact: Realizing I was more afraid of showing fear than I was of a broken neck.

Of course I should have just quit football, right? Crazy. 

But I was the quarterback and team captain, my steady girlfriend the head cheerleader. I had a lot to lose. Or so I thought. 

Crazy indeed.

However, the experience did help me begin to question the values and attitudes of the popular culture I was growing up in. A life lesson, part of my life-long struggle to get somewhere on this side of uncrazy. 

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