For the A-to-Z Challenge 2017 I’m writing all about myself. Every post will be some random fact or bit of information about me that you may or may not have already known. Maybe you’ll learn something! Feel free to let me know! ^_^
No, I’m not talking about the comic-book character or any of the iterations thereof. I’m still talking about me, here. 🙂
A lot of the people I know and love at this point in my life probably wouldn’t believe it since I’m such a lazy, cat-in-the-sun kind of person, but when I was a kid I was quite the daredevil. Nowadays I like to sit on the couch and write, curl up in bed and read or watch TV, and it’s a great bit of effort to even get me to go outside in the sun during the summer, but go back about 25 years and I was scaling everything in site and generally putting my limbs at risk on a daily basis.
Every kid thinks that they’re invincible – that’s just one of those things that the still-developing brain convinces itself of – but when I look back now I seriously cringe at some of the things that I used to do without even thinking about it. There were the common things, like climbing too-high trees or leaping from said too-tall trees into piles of not-so-soft snow. But there were also significantly more dangerous things, like doing flips and hanging upside-down from the monkey bars, or standing on one side of the see-saw and getting my friends to jump on the other side and launch me into the air. More than a few of the things I used to do make me genuinely wonder how I never killed myself, such as how I used to shimmy down the cliff face along the water near where I grew up and hop from slippery-wet stone to slippery-wet stone, looking for fossils.
The worst thing that I can think of, however, is climbing the barracks. Near where I grew up there are a number of abandoned stone war barracks that kids have always loved to explore. There’s one that lays underground, and you have to descend a pitch-black set of stairs to get into it, and there are several along the cliff that are like circular tunnels with little windows poking out to watch for approaching ships. But there’s one that is like a tower that was the most fun to explore because there were no ladders or stairs and the entire thing had to be traversed by climbing, boosting or pulling up your friends, and a fair bit of insanity.
This is the barracks in question:
For scale, see that door on the front, to the far right of the picture? That door is about eight feet tall. Now see right above the door, on what would be the second level of the building, where that long window opening is? Okay, here’s the fun part… See the third and fourth levels that are the tower bit? Well there was no access to those, so as kids we used to get up there by climbing on the ledge of that second level window, getting our friends to give us a boost, and climbing up on that second-level roof, then into the third-level window. Similarly, we’d boost ourselves from the third level window onto that tiny, super-skinny ledge, and then shimmy up to the fourth-level window.
At the time it was great fun, and I can really remember it being this amazing adventure that I wouldn’t have given up for the world, but looking back now I gasp at my own stupidity. How incredibly easy it would have been to fall from any of those levels. How easily I could have broken my neck or worse.
And yet at the same time, I feel lame as hell just speaking like that, because I can still remember it being the best. I guess even a cat-in-the-sun adult like me still has a small sliver of daredevil hiding in the back of my mind somewhere.
Were you a daredevil as a kid? Did you do anything back then that you look back on now and cringe about? Please feel free to leave a comment!