Bring out the Hellmann's and bring out the best

Bring out the Hellmann's and bring out the best

It’s 10:00 AM on a Wednesday morning and I just received the following email from the owner-operator of ChicagoNow:

Hey all,

Welcome to ChicagoNow’s first-ever Morning Blogapalooz-Hour. Your challenge, if you choose to accept it, is to publish a post in one hour. Here is this morning’s challenge:

Write about a period or moment in your life when you were at your best

Confidently write about when you were at the top of your game as a human being, student, friend, parent, spouse, athlete, blogger, etc.

The point of this exercise is to do it no matter what so don’t bail. Be creative, enjoy the process. Use words, images or video. Whatever you need to tell your story.

Be aware of the time. No matter when you finish, please wait until 11 a.m. to publish. Above all, please respect the deadline.”

This a tough one, I don’t really like talking about myself, other than in complete disparagement.  That may have something to do with the whole Jewish guilt/shame syndrome.

I usually stretch these Blogapalooz things out a bit by doing it in stream of consciousness, writing out my thoughts as they occur to me, as I’m doing now.

I had one pretty good moment a couple of years ago, they say I actually saved a woman’s foot.

It was on a little ski hill in Colorado and it was snowing something fierce.  Visibility was down to about zero.

I was cruising slowly down a beginner run (where most bad injuries occur) when I heard a scream behind me.  It was the kind of scream you typically hear when a woman has lost control and realizes she is going to fall.

The next scream, however was anything but typical.  It was low and guttural and as much the sound of pure terror as anything you’ve heard from Jamie Lee Curtis.

I stopped immediately, popped off my skis and ran back up the hill, using my poles for balance and speed.

When I got there,  she was lying on her back, both skis still attached.  The scene looked pretty normal for a fallen skier and it took a moment before I realized that her skis, although side by side, were pointing in opposite directions.

It was so bizarre looking that it took yet another moment for my brain to absorb the image and tell me which foot was facing the wrong way.

Those were two very long moments, both for me and for the young lady lying there in pain and horror.

My Uncle Sam had provided me with a little medical training back in 1969, although the focus of that 11-week symposium was on gunshot, hand grenade and booby trap wounds.  There was even a whole day devoted to delivering babies, but I don’t remember anything about ski accidents.

I did remember something about fractures and blood flow and I knew that I had to do something.

Blocking out the screams and curses, I popped the releases on the skis and removed them as carefully as possible.  When removing the right ski, it was clear that her right foot was not attached to the rest of the leg as it should have been.  I still shiver when I think about it.

Taking a couple of deep breaths, I pulled down on the right foot and slowly turned it back into the correct position.  It was eerie.  It felt like I was holding onto a disembodied foot.  Eeesh.

Ski Patrol arrived within about 10 minutes and I help stabilize the woman’s leg and get her onto a sled for the trip to the ER.

Checking in at the hospital, one of the doctors told me that if I hadn’t “reduced the fracture” as quickly as I did, that nice lady might never have skiied again.  She could have, in fact lost her foot, or at least significant usage of it.

So, that’s the story.  In moment of crisis, I did the right thing.  I’m not sure I’ve always reacted appropriately through all the moments of crisis in my life, but I try.  It’s  really all we can do.

As it turns out, moments of crisis can reveal things about ourselves and about others.  Tragedies, like the shooting in Orlando can bring out the best in us, but they can also bring out the worst in us.

With 50 dead and almost that many more in the hospital, Donald Trump said, “See, I told you so.”

I’m not sure if that would be anybody’s best moment.  That’s something you’ll have to decide for yourself if that is what you are looking for in a Commander in Chief.

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