There is a difference between speed and agility. When you are on a long lane stretching until the horizon, all you need is speed, foot on the pedal pushing through until you hit the board.
If you are in a curve, you don't need speed as much as agility. At least that's what someone should have told me when I was on my way to the last curve in what would be my last race.
Foot pushing the pedal through, hand grasping the steering wheel. Not slowing down, not ever slowing down.
I was head on head with Lindsey Larson. This was the race deciding the season. For the last few days, our names were always right next to each other on the leaderboard, occasionally changing who was on top, but always together.
So I was not going to let her win this time.
I see the curve ahead of me, I press the pedal further in. I knew it could go wrong, but I just didnt care. I wanted that win. I needed it to come out on top.
In those 3 seconds, I choose speed over agility, I nearly choose my career over my life.
The curve came, but the wheels on my car didn't react fast enough. The already used wheels couldn't grip the road. The wall came closer fast. Too fast.
The next thing I knew, the world went dark.
I woke up in a hospital a few days later. A splinting headache proved that I didn't loose my head on the track that day.
Everything looked like a dirty glass was in front of my face.
The room was dark though, so much I could see.
„You are awake!“, a voice was coming from the side of the room. It sounded like someone was talking to me from a different reality.
„I will get a nurse. Try to relax.“
So I did.
It took 3 more days after that to experience the world normal again. My vision came back first, my hearing a day later. The rest would take longer. My neck was in a brace and I had another plaster on my left leg and arm.
The nurses didn't let me look into a mirror since I arrived in the hospital. „Believe us, you dont want to see yourself like that.“
I didnt care. I didnt care if I had a black eye, if my lip was cleft open or I had a massive scar from one side of my face to the other. I needed to assess the damage.
When you are sitting in that car going more than 200 miles an hour your face grimaces. I say I do it to center myself and get the adrenaline out. Mum says it's a mistake I should stop doing.
„She won.“ was the first thing she had said to me when she visited me.
„How is she?“ was what I wanted to know.
„Lindsay? The one who won? On her way to celebrate. Rightfully so.“
„So why are you mad? At least one of your daughters won.“, my head was hurting again. The last thing I felt like was talking to her.
„Yes, but my other daughter is now in a hospital. You could also have won.“
„Mum, having two kids competing in the same sport in the same race means only one can win.“ but she didnt care for that. In her mind she raised two winners. So to her every race was a disappointment. Because there was always at least one of us that lost.
© Nel 2022-04-18